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On becoming a digital citizen

We sum up the last three weeks and try to pin down what really makes a digital citizen.
Abstract image of distant city lights out of focus
© University of York
We have nearly reached the end of our learning journey together and it’s time to reflect on some of the questions, ideas, and concepts that we have considered regarding the information society and digital citizenship. It’s time to address what it really means to become a digital citizen.
Throughout our learning we have considered complex questions about identity and society. This week we looked at the controversial issues of democracy and surveillance. We thought about the post-truth world and the implications of life in an echo chamber. We have confronted the cyberbully and rubbed shoulders with the hacktivist. Finally, we’ve tried to harness the power of online communications and digital technologies for the dissemination of research and the benefit of society generally.
With all this considered, have your ideas of what it means to be a digital citizen changed since you started the course? Are there particular themes that resonate with your idea of digital citizenship? Are you any closer to identifying the truth about what makes you a digital citizen?
When writing this course, the key concepts that we really felt resonated throughout all of the steps were ideas of evolution, change and development in the digital society. There’s an interesting contradiction posed by the permanence of online transactions and the vulnerability of our online data. We somewhat anticipated that once you started to explore some of the complexities of the internet and digital communications, and the ways in which they have influenced our behaviour as citizens, it may raise more questions than any of us would be able to answer.
The digital citizen is therefore a multifaceted beast, and what it means to become a digital citizen is open to interpretation: it changes dependent upon you perspective, reflecting your beliefs, values and ideals. In a sense you don’t become a digital citizen; it is a continual process of learning, engaging and participating in our digital society.
We would therefore like to give you the opportunity to contribute to our course conclusion by sharing what you think it means to become a digital citizen on our open Padlet board. You could provide a link to a particularly pertinent article or post, add a metaphorical or representative image of your concept of the digital citizen, post your own definition of digital citizenship, or note what you think are the key concepts. You could even just post a pertinent question about what it is to be a digital citizen.
See our help on how to use Padlet should you need it.
We look forward to seeing your posts!
© University of York
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Becoming a Digital Citizen: an Introduction to the Digital Society

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