Digital Citizenship

Today, I will be co-facilitating, along with eight wonderful women, a conversation of what it means to be a digital citizen, #digciz, particularly a liberal arts digital citizen, at the ELI annual meeting. In reflecting on how we came together as four institutions to lead this conversation I jokingly said it was through our own #digciz. And yet, that is very real ~ had we not leveraged the open, curious, networked, collaborative constructs that we are afforded through the aid of technology we would not be doing this. And in the process, we’ve expanded and enhanced our own digital identity.

When I think about what it means to be a #digciz, I can’t help but approach this wearing many hats – parent, teacher, technologist. Thinking about what it means to be a liberal arts citizen I am drawn to the work from Penn State. And yet I find myself falling back to the simple truths from Robert Fulghum, in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Like adding the words “in bed” to the little slips of paper from fortune cookies, add the words “online” after each of Fulghum’s “rules” (Okay, some make more sense than others) and that’s a great starting point for conversations about what constitutes #digciz

  • Share everything . . . online.
  • Play fair  . . . online.
  • Don’t hit people . . . online.
  • Put things back where you found them . . . online.
  • Clean up your own mess . . . online.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours . . . online.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody . . . online.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some . . . online.
  • Take a nap every afternoon . . . online???
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together . . . online.
  • Be aware of wonder . . . online.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we . . . online (or do we?)
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK . . . online.

Let me know your thoughts on how to do the wash your hands, flush and warm cookies and cold milk part online!