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Children as digital citizens: Closing the gap on parental engagement

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As technology users become progressively younger, the frequency of exposure and risk in the use of technology continues to increase worldwide. Internationally, digital citizenship is growing rapidly. As students enter primary school already a part of this technological explosion, educative policies and practices are expanding to younger year levels. Schools progressively find themselves taking a lead role in supporting their entire community’s development as digital citizens. It is timely to ask about the effectiveness of their approaches to doing so, and to consider the challenges ahead in both school and at home. This paper examines the curriculum, theories, research and practicalities relating to children as digital citizens. This article suggests that the active role children play in influencing and facilitating the nature and extent of their technological and personal relationships is attributed to a three-way relationship between teacher, student and parent. Much remains to be done regarding parental engagement and involvement in parent-school relationships to ensure the safety and physical and mental health of our children. Schools and teachers can support parental engagement by continuously building and rebuilding partnerships to connect learning, digital knowledge and competence at home and at school, so as to provide children and adolescents with the right tools. As schools and their communities become increasingly reliant on digital technology, providing effective links through education and information on digital literacies and fluency offers children a network of support.
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Keywords: curriculum; digital citizens; digital environment; digital knowedge; digital technology; parental role in the ITC; school children

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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  • Information Technology, Education and Society is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal which focuses on major and current issues in information technology and their relation to education and society. It seeks original articles which analyse and explore sociological and educational issues relating to new and changing technologies.
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