Technological and global change is already altering the ways that we interact with the world. Today's kindergarteners will never know a world without smartphones, the internet or climate change. What do we as both educators and a community need to do to prepare them for the new world of 'digital citizenship'?
What is digital citizenship?
Digital citizenship describes the different kind of world in which our current students will be future citizens. In the past thirteen years the expansion of the internet, smartphones and social media use have dramatically changed the way that we live. This is clearly having major consequences. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, when Facebook user data was used to impact the 2016 U.S. Federal elections. This demonstrates what it means to be a citizen is dramatically changing. The citizens of the future will be 'digital'.
And more change is coming, faster than ever before. The field of artificial intelligence promises great advancement but could also cause disaster - depending on who you speak to.
How do we prepare for an uncertain future?
Today's students will graduate into a more complex and challenging world. Massive amounts of information and data - not all factual - will be at their fingertips. Change is happening so quickly now that it is impossible for us to course it's path - so how do we prepare our children for that uncertain future? What skills, attributes and qualities will we need to instill in our children to succeed and thrive in that world?
The Education for a Changing World initiative is asking these questions and more, including:
How can we both protect our children from the impact of this change and enable them to engage in a cutting edge education?
What role should the education system play in embedding qualities of character like resilience, motivation and leadership?
How do we teach our children to think critically, understand technology and safeguard themselves whilst online?
Digital citizenship resources
- Digital citizenship website
- The Elements of AI is a series of free online courses developed as part of a Finnish Government initiative. The course covers a range of topics from machine learning, neural networks and the philosophical questions reaised by AI. Please note the NSW Department of Education does not own, manage or take responsibility for the course material.