Defining Citizenship

Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, Dec 04, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm in Colombia and jet-lagged (yes, I know it's only one time zone - getting up at 4:00 a.m. to catch the flight counts for something, though). OK, Vicki Davis may get mad, sure. But I echo Tom Hoffman's comment: I've probably said this before, but "literacy" + "safety " + "etiquette" + "learning strategies" + "networking" does not equal "citizenship." It may equal something, but "citizenship" isn't a good word for it. For me, this whole digital citizenship thing is old news - and as I said in 1997: "If a defining characteristic of a nation is that it embraces diversity of opinion, then you cannot define membership in that nation according to the opinions held by its citizens." Which means the whole notion of the responsibility of 'digital citizens' misses the point. The vile content - and it most certainly is vile - is neither new nor original. And it's not the kids that are creating it. Once again, it is worth noting, in the words of Natalie Maines: "our children are watching us,
they put their trust in us,
they're gonna be like us..."
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