Digital identities and digital security

citizenshipChildren learn acceptable behaviour through observation, imitation and guidance of those surrounding them.  The current technological environment we live in has cemented my recognition of the need for educators to teach this principle for online application.  They need a clear understanding of the security measures required for participation in digital environments (Ribble, Bailey & Ross, 2004) and the permanence of digital activity (Treyvaud, 2013) to communicate to students.  These digital natives, have a natural aptitude for using new technologies but many teachers, the digital immigrants, struggle to speak the language of the new-age students (Prensky, 2001). Educators falling into this category, lack digital fluency and face challenges meeting the Australian Curriculum requirement (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015) to educate students about key digital citizenship principles, including communicating positively online, web awareness and selection (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016a).  By maintaining professional development in digital technologies, I will be better placed to teach digital citizenship to my students.

…the most important thing adults today can do for the next generation is to work in partnership with other parents and teachers to create a village of support when it comes to digital technology use.” (Herron, 2012)

Further learning will also assist relating to the outer school community.  Older generations struggle with the application and awareness of technology needed to participate in online environments hence, most parents share in the status of being a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001), having been introduced to many newer technologies later in life.  Consequently, equipping myself with knowledge about appropriate online etiquette and safety is equally valuable by enabling that information to be conveyed to others in the community responsible for the care of students, such as parents, carers and guardians. This view is supported by Alistair MacGibbon, Australia’s first Children’s eSafety Commissioner (Fletcher, 2015), who highlights cyber awareness education for parents is equally important as teaching the children.  Resources such as Outreach and its Pre-service teacher program (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016b) are tools helping educators guide parents to support their child’s learning.  My currency with these resources and continued development of my digital fluency are key skills I need to be a twenty-first century educator.

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Everyone has a role to play in promoting digital citizenship and building stronger online communities.” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016a)


Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved from

Commonwealth of Australia. (2016a). Digital Citizenship: Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Retrieved from

Commonwealth of Australia. (2016b). Outreach: Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Retrieved from

Fletcher, P. (2015, March 19). Leading online safety expert Alistair MacGibbon appointed Children’s eSafety Commissioner [Press release]. Retrieved from

Herron, K. (2012, August 7). Why parents and educators should work together to teach digital citizenship. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Prenksy, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(2), 1-6. Retrieved from

Ribble, M., Bailey, G. & Ross, T. (2004). Digital citizenship: Addressing appropriate technology behaviour. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32(1), 6-12. Retrieved from

Treyvaud, R. (2013). Secondary: Digital tattoo. Retrieved from




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