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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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1. Children and Youths in Digital Environments

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1.Children and Youths in Digital Environments

As underlined in most of the studies (Hallam & Zanella, 2017; Subrahmanyam & Greenfiled, 2008), digital environments are not only places that children and youths only spend time. Indeed, they are “living” in digital environments; they learn, share and teach something and present their lives to others. Moreover, even children and youths interact with their social and political environment by digital tools and platforms. Politics are not too far away issues for children and youths as a result of engagement in digital environments. Unfortunately, they can encounter political information which is mostly not appropriate with their age, cognition level or background information. Those encounters can be evaluated as dark side on Internet and social media.

It is a fact that social media network sites have great impact on both online and offline lives of individuals and are changing social dynamics as well. Especially by facing and interacting with unfamiliar people, perceptions, thoughts or beliefs on social media network sites, youths and young adults have a chance to practice and build their identity (Hallam & Zanella, 2017).

According to the findings of EU Kids Online, which is systematic research on media use habits of children and adolescence since 2010 among European Countries (Rasi et al., 2019), there are some vital conclusions about relationship between children and adolescents and digital environments. Firstly, there is a positive correlation between children and youths’ Internet usage and improvement of their digital skills. This...

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