Promoting the Development of Digital Leadership Amongst Students

Digital leadership examines the beneficial transition away from an emphasis on digital citizenship. Teachers are becoming increasingly interested in teaching students about digital citizenship as a result of the proliferation of Technology-Based Pedagogical Resources in the classroom. 

Students have shifted from using computers just for word processing and information collecting to one in which they network, participate in social media, share their lives online, and create material of their own. As a result, educators realized that pupils must be taught how to be responsible digital citizens who are aware of the possible ramifications of their online behavior. 

They needed to learn how to think critically and to exercise caution when it came to how and with whom they shared their personal information. However, understanding how to behave isn’t enough for kids nowadays, who spend so much of their time interacting with others online. It is imperative that today’s pupils learn how to lead.

Because digital leadership encourages students to do more than just engage, it goes beyond digital citizenship. “Using the internet and social media to enhance the lives, well-being, and conditions of others” is TeachThought’s definition of digital leadership. “

Students are challenged to think about their leadership styles in the age of digital technology. Asks students to think about how their actions online affect others – and how they might improve the online environment for everyone.

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Participation In Digital Society

Teaching students about digital citizenship gives them the knowledge and skills they need to use technology responsibly. The concept of digital citizenship has evolved throughout time, as have the technologies and applications that make use of them. 

Some of the characteristics of students who demonstrate digital citizenship are to:

  • Educate and advocate for the safe, legal, and responsible use of technology and information.
  • Maintain a favorable attitude about the use of technology that enhances learning, cooperation, and productivity.
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

Because of the wide range of backgrounds and comfort levels among teachers when it comes to using technology, school boards often impose restrictions on the amount of online content production and participation that may occur outside of the board’s network. 

It is not uncommon for school board members to be asked for help in formulating and enforcing policies on what constitutes appropriate technology use. The notion of giving kids a framework for digital citizenship helps them better grasp their rights and encourages them to behave responsibly on the internet. 

It is possible, however, that if the emphasis is solely on the negative aspects, such as not exchanging information, not disclosing too much personal information, not putting faith in those on the other side of the computer, and not allowing students to use personal devices in the classroom, students will gain little insight into how to proceed. Perhaps an adjustment in teaching methods might help pupils better prepare for this challenge.

Leadership Nuances in a Digital Context

Digital citizenship is the foundation upon which the concept of digital leadership is built. Invoking the power of technology to better the lives, well-being and conditions of others. When it comes to online leadership, this change aims to help students see themselves as such.

As a result of the realization that sharing their hobbies, interacting with people who can expand their knowledge, and promoting kindness online are all strategies to establish a positive online reputation. For students who are interested in becoming digital leaders, the lens of digital leadership emphasizes the importance of leveraging their online presence to improve themselves and the lives of others.

 Students who participate actively in online learning communities are more likely to succeed in their academic endeavors. Social media participation may help people feel more connected to others and more a part of a community.

When it comes to digital leadership, it’s all about how pupils use technology both at home and at school. However, how schools embrace technology, in general, is influenced by how they teach such leadership abilities in the classroom. In order to transform or improve school culture with the use of technology, “it takes a dynamic combination of mentality, behavior, and abilities,” says Sheninger. 

Leaders in the digital world also utilize social media to express their opinions and converse politely with others. When digital leaders talk openly about the world’s current difficulties, they may help to alter the world for the better.

How to Foster the Next Generation of Digital Leaders

It’s not simply practical to teach kids how to become digital leaders, but it is something they should learn. It can’t be avoided. The students of today are the ones who will spend a large portion of their life online in the years to come. Therefore, it is the responsibility of educators to make sure that their students have the skills necessary to succeed in whichever job path they choose. 

Therefore, how exactly can teachers provide pupils with the skills necessary for digital leadership? One technique that might be used is to classify various tools’ functions. The following is a list of the eight areas that require leadership:

  • Digital identification 
  • Digital property rights 
  • Computer literacy 
  • Communication via the internet 
  • Digital safety 
  • Digital security 
  • Utilization of digital media 
  • Emotional intelligence in digital form

Conversations about empathy and social and emotional awareness are included in digital emotional intelligence. Teachers may then utilize this framework to develop a lesson plan that teaches students how to foster empathy for others while online.

The lesson plan may begin by asking students to evaluate when empathy would be beneficial. Then, ask them how they may display empathy and why doing so would benefit them and others.

Integrate Ideas with Everyday Digital Connections

Educators can then try to develop easy internet posting behaviors in their pupils. 

Students should be asked to think about their audience before sharing anything. Prior to making a post public that includes another person, they should always ask that individual, “Are you okay with this?” Using the internet at home and school can help pupils develop better digital leadership abilities. 

Teaching others how to hold others accountable for their actions is another skill instructors may impart. Leadership requires going beyond one’s own self and helping others maintain high standards for themselves and the online community. Teachers may serve as role models for their kids by showcasing the positive impact other young people have on the world.

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You Should Provide a Place for Students to Practice These Skills

It is essential to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their digital leadership abilities to assist them in better understanding leadership concepts in the actual world.

Students need to have the opportunity to put their newly acquired leadership abilities into action, as ISTE’s Julie Randles explains. Instilling this sense of agency in pupils may excite and inspire them and teach them how to make a difference in the world.

Social justice and community service initiatives not only provide curriculum-related teachings for kids but also enable them to engage in their society and our democracy, as Randles argues.

Learning digital leadership is vital for ensuring that online communities are secure, supportive places where constructive ideas are expressed and acted upon regardless of the age of the students.

Conclusions and Suggestions for the Future

Using social media as a learning tool and bringing it into the classroom supports our kids as we look at 21st-century learners. It’s a good thing for students to move from being digital citizens to being digital leaders since it helps them see the benefits of their social media presence on people around them. 

For our kids to make full use of the technical resources at their disposal, we must first ensure that they understand how the internet gives them the capacity to be change-makers, to have their voices heard, and build large networks of support and growth. Using internet technologies to create learning networks that benefit students’ lives and education should be addressed in every modern classroom.

About the Author

Jesica Garcia – a great tech freak and a professional Software Engineer, belongs to a tiny town
in the UK, Stamford. It is her own choice to be a content writer. Before starting the online work,
she taught computer science in a school.

Apart from her Software Engineering career, she has also completed her master’s in Education and Politics. She is very passionate about helping people understand content writing and marketing. She is a keen observer and possesses a very humble personality. Additionally, she is a keynote speaker and a social worker.

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