Ahead of next week’s 2018 Global Symposium on Digital Citizenship, we wanted to release some brand new Speak Up data on the topic! We added some new questions to several of the Speak Up 2017 surveys to get a better gauge of the state of digital citizenship education across the country.
We asked students, teachers, parents and administrators about nine types of digital citizenship skills (as outlined in Mike Ribble’s Digital Citizenship in Schools, Nine Elements All Students Should Know). We asked:
- students if they are learning the skills,
- teachers if they are teaching these skills,
- librarians and school administrators if these skills are explicitly being taught in their schools, and
- parents and district administrators which skills are important for students to learn.
The results show two things: 1) everyone is focused on safety (and not as much on the ethical and technical skills) and 2) there is a large disconnect between what many parents and administrators think should be taught, what teachers say they are teaching and what students say they are learning.
Here’s a sample of the data findings (see full set of 9 skills in the table below).
Notably, we also ask students in a different section of the survey if this statement is true for them: “I know how to be safe online.” More than half (56%) of high school students and 60% of middle school students said this is true. Given the focus on safety, these numbers seem rather low.
We also asked adults who should have the primary responsibility for teaching digital citizenship skills, and we asked students who has taught them these skills. (Full table of this data is below)
Parents see themselves as having the most responsibilty for this, but classroom teachers are close behind. Note that just 38% of high school students and just over half of middle school students say they have learned any of these skills from their teachers. Half of high school students say they have learned most from their parents, followed closely by teaching themselves (44%). Students learning on their own ranks last among administrators and parents.
Also note that 10% of high school and 6% of middle school students said no one has taught them these skills.
We asked parents “When is the right age for children to start learning Internet safety and good digital citizenship behaviors?” More than half said lower elementary grades (1-3).
Thanks to Rod Carnill, Supervisor of Instructional Technology Coaches, Frederick County Public Schools (VA), and VSTE board member, for sharing some of this Speak Up data for us on Monday! Catch his Global Ed Ignite Session at 10:30am to learn a bit about this data and how his district is putting it to use.
And, stay tuned for more analysis of this digital citizenship data! What would you like to see? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Speak Up 2017 Digital Citizenship Data Tables
Digital Citizenship Skills
|Digital Citizenship Skills||Students, Grades 6-8||Students, Grades 9-12||Parents||Teachers||Librarians||School Administrators||District Administrators|
|Appreciating that everyone has digital rights as well as responsibilities to the society at large||38%||38%||47%||34%||57%||49%||64%|
|Knowing how to be safe online and use safeguards to protect our information and ourselves||63%||53%||89%||59%||87%||78%||93%|
|Knowing how to use various communications tools appropriately||41%||40%||60%||46%||64%||62%||68%|
|Knowing how to use, and how to learn to use, technology for learning purposes||58%||52%||66%||66%||77%||75%||73%|
|Learning how to be an effective consumer in a digital economy||23%||24%||36%||19%||37%||29%||59%|
|Learning how to protect one’s self from the physical and psychological dangers of technology use||44%||37%||73%||30%||63%||51%||77%|
|Understanding ethical and lawful use of digital tools||29%||33%||64%||38%||70%||57%||80%|
|Understanding that not everyone has access to technology||35%||38%||40%||42%||37%||37%||45%|
|Understanding what are appropriate and inappropriate digital behaviors||52%||47%||78%||59%||81%||75%||85%|
Students: Digital citizenship is the set of norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Which of these types of digital citizenship are you learning about in school?
Teachers: Digital citizenship has been defined as the set of norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Which of these types of digital citizenship are you explicitly covering in your class this year with your students?
Librarians and School Admins: Digital citizenship has been defined as the set of norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Which of these types of digital citizenship are students at your school receiving explicit instruction?
Parents and District Admins: Digital citizenship is the set of norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Which of these types of digital citizenship do you think are most important for students to learn today?
Digital Citizenship Responsibility/Influence
|Digital Citizenship Skills - Responsibility/Influence||Students, Grades 3-5||Students, Grades 6-8||Students, Grades 9-12||Parents||School Administrators||District Administrators|
|Afterschool program leader||5%||8%||5%||11%||11%||19%|
|Student learning on their own/Learning on my own||17%||35%||44%||11%||14%||17%|
|No one has taught me this||4%||6%||10%|
Adults: "Who should have primary responsibility for teaching digital citizenship to students at your school?
Students: Who has had the biggest influence on what you know about being a good digital citizen? Who taught you how to be a good digital citizen?"
Download an infographic with this data.
Between October 2017 and February 2018, 340,927 K-12 students, 33,156 teachers, 1,677 librarians, 2,423 administrators, 23,159 parents and 4,611 community members representing more than 10,619 public and private schools and 3,222 districts shared their views as part of Speak Up 2017. Schools from urban (29%), suburban (37%), and rural (34%) communities are represented. Well over half of the schools (68%) that participated in Speak Up 2017 are Title I eligible schools (an indicator of student population poverty). More on Speak Up 2017 Methodology.