The phrase "digital citizenship" refers to the responsible use of technology and the expected behaviors or social norms. Digital citizenship is important on both a personal and global scale. It impacts the interactions we have with other people online, but also how we access and use information or other media we find online.
There are various elements to digital citizenship, including digital literacy, digital etiquette, and digital rights and responsibilities.
Digital literacy is the ability to locate, recognize, evaluate, and use information effectively. It refers to the ways in which we interact with existing information, create new information or media, and perform other tasks in digital spaces.
One way you can think of what it means to be digitally literate is by applying Bloom's Taxonomy to any research you do online. Starting from the bottom of the pyramid, you should be able to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create new, original work from information you find online.
Armstrong, P. (2010). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved July 23, 2022 from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy
Digital etiquette (also known as netiquette) dictates how we behave online. If etiquette means following the social conventions of politeness and professionalism towards others, then digital etiquette refers to one's ability to do the same online (Pfeiffer Library, 2020, sec. 1). It includes using technology only when it is appropriate and in ways that minimize negative effects on others.
One example of digital etiquette is engaging in respectful discussions with others on social media. Another is silencing your cell phone while in a movie theater.
Pfeiffer Library at Tiffin University. (2020, March 24). Netiquette. Digital literacy: Netiquette and internet safety. Retrieved July 23, 2022 from https://library.tiffin.edu/netiquette/netiquette
Digital rights and responsibilities refer to issues like right to privacy of our personal information, equitable access to information, and the responsibility to use that information in ethical ways. If we have a right to equitable access to digital resources, we also have a responsibility to use digital resources in an ethical way. Using online information and other media ethically means respecting the intellectual property of others, citing ownership correctly, and not downloading or sharing files illegally.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (n.d.), "Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as: any representation of information that permits the identity of an individual to whom the information applies to be reasonably inferred by either direct or indirect means" (para. 1). PII includes a person's name, address, social security number (or other unique, identifying number), phone number, email address, gender, race, birth date, and geographic indicator (U.S. Department of Labor, n.d., para. 1).
Remember: nothing posted online is ever truly private.
Pfeiffer Library at Tiffin University. (2020, March 24). Safety tips. Digital literacy: Netiquette and internet safety. Retrieved July 23, 2022 from https://library.tiffin.edu/netiquette/safety
U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Guidance on the protection of personal identifiable information. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.dol.gov/general/ppii
Copyright is a federal law that grants (for a limited time) exclusive rights to authors of original, creative works fixed in a tangible medium of expression. It is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to creators over their intellectual property, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. It also provides exceptions to those exclusive rights under certain circumstances.
Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement that allows certain persons or entities to use, access, copy, distribute, remix, publicly perform, or publicly display limited portions of protected material for certain purposes. Under the fair use doctrine, you may be able to use copyright protected work without having to receive the copyright owner's permission or pay them. Clear rules do not exist for interpreting what exact uses constitute fair use, thus it is a judgment call and ultimately it would be up to a court of law to determine whether a use is considered fair or not.
See the Cazenovia College Copyright Policy and Witherill Library's research guide on Copyright & Fair Use for specific details.
U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). U.S. Copyright Law. Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://www.copyright.gov/
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