I would LOVE for all schools to be prepared to meet the needs of the digital citizen but unfortunately not all schools are ready for that. There are schools that have or probably will have great programs for meeting those needs but there will be other schools that will be various steps behind before that will keep them or make it harder to reach other schools’ performance. There are different factors that impact these schools readiness for meeting the needs of the digital citizen.
When I was younger I remember there was a limited time for each classroom to use the computer lab at my school and now I see that my younger sisters are exposed and have more access to computers at their schools. There are students that are exposed to technology at such a young age before even entering kindergarten. This allows them to have an advantage in expanding their knowledge in this area. But there are other students that face a digital divide during their school years. Usually in certain communities students don’t have a computer or other related technology at home. There could also be the possibility that these same students’ school has limited quantities of computers or other resources available for these students. Digital divide can be caused due to lack of access due to funds, lack of knowledge of how to use technology, or lack of knowledge of the benefits of technology.
Teachers play a big role in this just like schools do. Teachers must know how to use the technology and model characteristics of a digital citizen. Students need to be taught to be interested in positive things for their communities and surroundings. They have to develop to be issue-oriented in order to have social concern of what happens around them. Students must search for information in order to be up to date and be informed. They should feel independent enough to express their opinions and concerns. Lastly, they have to be involved since they form part of society’s future and look out for the well being of others. Schools must understand that students’ online and offline lives have the same importance. All students should learn how to use technology and the media. They should be taught the ethical consequences of the decisions they make online. But the education system has to make a change especially in schools that face a digital divide. Students MUST be exposed to technology early in school and continue through all their school years in order to be ready for the future and to become a digital citizen.