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Digital Citizenship for Children and Youths

Seda Gökçe Turan

As an educator and researcher, I have tried to create awareness to pupils, teachers and families through seminars and workshops since 2012. I believe that Internet and social media are actually precious and useful. If individuals use digital environments consciously, they can even be counted as educational institutions. Unfortunately, most of the pupils, teachers and parents had great concerns regarding digital environments, which decreased after they obtained information about “digital citizenship”. So, I decided to write a book not only for teachers or parents who guided for safety at digital environments, but also for youths to understand digital citizenship.

The book is written in the hope that it would be helpful for anyone who hold concerns about digital environments.

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Although the 21st century is known by many different names (Digital Age, Age of Technology, Age of Artificial Intelligence, etc.), it has diverse characteristics and easy access to “information” (Koltay, 2011). The impact of information on individuals and societies could be very diverse due to the structure of information in the 21st century. With different information and communication devices and digital environments, information could be both beneficial and dangerous. For example, information can be replaced with artificial intelligence applications such as Deep Fake, and it is so difficult for children and youths to differentiate Deep Fake from real ones. Moreover, parents and teachers are supposed to direct and guide children and youths for safe and conscious Internet use. But unfortunately, most of the time they are not aware of the harms and dangers on the Internet. That’s why we need to teach not only to children and youths but also to parents and teachers the digital citizenship skills so that children and youths can adapt to social life, living in a safe society, to make them conscious citizens, and to teach our children and youths some skills in schools to make them aware of the risks of the cyber world, while making them benefit from cyber world. In order to do this, parents and teachers, first focus equally on the risks and benefits of the cyber world, become conscious digital citizens, thus being models for children and youths. When we focus only on the risks (cyber-bullying, Internet addiction,...

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