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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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We should renew education system, and it should be appropriate for growing pupils with better digital citizenship skills and competences. Hybrid education models that include skills and competence toward improving pupils’ digital citizenship awareness and competence would be a solution to protect children and youths from the risks and harms of digital spaces. Moreover, social media usage, awareness toward fake news, Deep-Fake and manipulations should be gained by Hybrid Education System.

Parents are also an important dimension for effective digital citizenship competence. Parental involvement has a disincentive effect on risky and inappropriate online behaviors of children and youths. In my opinion, threatening children and youths with “law” or "rule” is not effective protection method for inappropriate or harmful behaviors. As adults, educators, researchers and parents, first, we must improve our digital citizenship competence and then guide and instruct children and youths for safe involvement in digital environments.

I want to finalize this book with the phrase that I conclude to all my seminars to high school students: People are not computers. When you close your computer, you do not close the people that you chat with.

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