Our professor introduced the idea of a metaphor for digital citizenship; driving a car. This included concepts such as:
- different people use cars for different purposes (different uses of the Internet/social media use it for different purposes)
- when driving you need to obey certain rules of the road to avoid hurting yourself or others (when you are online, you need to obey certain rules of citizenship to avoid hurting yourself or others)
- as you get older/more experienced, you have more control of the car (as you get older/more experienced, you are ready to do more online)
and so on. This got me thinking about the metaphor and whether I would use it with my class of 4th and 5th graders, or whether I would want to try and develop a different metaphor to either use in place of or in conjunction with the car metaphor.
I came up with the idea of a family/close friends/acquaintances/strangers metaphor which implies circles of trust and familiarity that could supplement the driving metaphor in a useful way. See this image:familiarity circles
The metaphor may allow for excellent discussion and understanding of the way your conduct online needs to be adjusted based on who you are communicating with. As you move from the center of the circle outward, you will need to be both more cautious and more formal. I look forward to finding a good combination of metaphors and tools as I improve my teaching related to digital citizenship.