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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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2. Risks and Benefits of Digital Environments

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2.Risks and Benefits of Digital Environments

2.1.Benefits of Digital Environments

Although most researchers, educators, policymakers discuss and warn about harms, risks and deleterious effects of digital environments, I should note that digital environments are one of the best tools to shape individuals lives and perception toward other people and to expand their circle of friends and acquaintances, developing healthy identity, etc. Mainly social network sites encourage three basic individual needs: (1) diversion and entertainment, (2) development of identity and support personal growth and autonomy and (3) build and maintain social relationships (Hallam & Zanella, 2017).

Although children and youths could face with different political disclosures on social media, researchers noted that (Atif & Chou, 2018) social media could reinforce their genuine learning experiences through reflective and critical discussions on social media.

Moreover, active engagement of digital world and improved digital competences are considered as key qualifications for lifelong learning (Rasi et al., 2019). For this reason, researchers strongly advise active engagement of children and youths in the digital world. This active engagement could offer opportunities such as be informed, present and express themselves and encourage the feeling of safety. Furthermore, the most important benefit of actively using digital tools is to support and improve individuals’ problem-solving capabilities.

Generally, parents and sometimes teachers are worried about children and youths to consume their time playing digital games on the Internet. They mostly think playing digital games could lead to game addiction, academic...

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