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Digital responsibility

Parents and guardians want schools to help students develop healthy relationships with technology and be safe, confident explorers of the digital world. Research shows that including online safety within the school’s curriculum is key to helping children become safe and responsible users of technologies, especially if they are taught how to manage, rather than avoid, risks online.

99%of UK teachers say that online safety should be part of the school’s curriculum.

Google, 2018

The average amount of time Americans under 8 years old spent with mobile devices each day tripled between 2013 and 2017.

Common Sense, 2017

59%of teachers in Mexico say that digital competence and responsible use is one of the main advantages of using technology in the classroom.

Blink Learning, 2018

Hear from the experts

Digital responsibility

A conversation with Nastaran Jafari

Independent International Education Consultant

Nastaran Jafari

Digital responsibility is an increasingly important part of compulsory education. How do you see this evolving over the next 10 years?

Within Victoria, Australia I feel that there are some key areas which will evolve over the next ten years within the digital responsibility space. For example, it is critical that safe, responsible and ethical use of digital responsibilities is taught as part of compulsory education. Students are increasingly exposed to digital technologies and learning, and with that comes the responsibility to utilise this in a safe and responsible manner including the consequences of their actions or bad behaviour.

Whilst, we do have a long way to go in this area, I do see digital responsibility evolving to connect learners from diverse backgrounds and facilitating cultural, social and inclusive understanding. This will include the deepening and facilitation of issues including the environment, gender equality, virtues, values and how the concept of service to our communities and helping others can be undertaken through technologies.

Over the next 10 years, I would also see access as an important part of digital responsibility. This means inclusive digital responsibility, whereby all learners, regardless of socioeconomic status, gender and ability, have access to digital technologies.

In developing countries, I see this evolving over the next 10 years to support children and young people who are displaced and marginalised, and do not have access to an education. It will allow reach and reduce barriers to access either through the same pedagogy (i.e. enabling children in war zones to complete international or local compulsory education through technology) or utilising specific and relevant subjects including peace education, psycho-social support and water and sanitation, which are more relevant within humanitarian and/or developing settings.

What does it look like when effective digital responsibility instruction is happening in schools? What does ineffective instruction look like?

Effective digital responsibility instruction to me looks like teachers being aware and trained in effective digital responsibility including the ethical use of digital technologies, and for its utilisation in a safe and responsible manner. This would also include teachers to ensure that there are consequences to bad behaviour.

I also firmly believe that effective digital responsibility is an inclusive one, whereby no child or young person’s access is affected due to race, gender, sexuality or socio-economic status. I believe that digital responsibility instruction, when possible, should mirror or integrate the learnng of values and virtues, whether within the curriculum itself or through its delivery (i.e. incorporation of ethics, life-skills, practising kindness, peace education during classes and supporting subjects were technologies facilitate service to the community and helping others). Teaching digital citizenship and in turn responsibility is also to help students think beyond themselves and to understand their responsibilities to others and how they can improve their communities.

Describe digital citizenship in 10 words or less.

Connecting one another as global citizens through ethical technology.

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