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Archive for September, 2014

Digital Citizen?

Are you a digital citizen?

Are you a digital native, digital immigrant, or a digital citizen?

If you are confused about your own role in the digital world, take a moment to reflect on these labels.

You are or you are not a digital native, and you are or you are not a digital immigrant.  The digital immigrant was not born with smart phone in hand.  He or she may remember how computers used punch cards and reel-to-reel cellophane tape.  (Don’t get big ideas.  I saw it in a movie.)

The digital native came into a world of computers, smart-phones, and tablets.  Digital natives are millennials and subsequent generations. Even though they were born into a digital age, they still have to learn how to navigate in a digital age.  As Alice Keeler points out, they may not have upper hand when we count computer and internet savvy.

So where is the digital citizen?  I suggest we think of an analogy from good ole’ social philosophy.  Two social philosophers, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, discussed the notion that we are born into a state of nature.  We surrender our standing when we choose to become part of a social contract.  Another social contract theorist, Jean Jacques Rousseau, says, “Each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will; and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole.”

To put it simply, a digital citizen is someone who has voluntarily chosen to join in a social contract by taking the digital citizen’s pledge.  Here’s how Edudemic states it:

The Digital Citizen Pledge

Digital citizens pledge to…

  • Communicate responsibly and kindly with one another
  • Protect our own and others’ private information online
  • Stand up to cyberbullying
  • Respect each other’s ideas and opinions
  • Give proper credit when we use others’ work.
  • Fill in your own!


You are or your are not a digital native.  That is a given. You choose to be a digital citizen.

Have you taken the digital citizen’s pledge?
I Pledge of Allegiance 5-9-09 1