Education and Citizenship for the Digital 21st Century
Author: Elinor L. Brown,Anna Krasteva,Maria Ranieri
International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice is an international research monograph series of scholarly works that focuses primarily on empowering children, adolescents, and young adults from diverse educational, sociocultural, linguistic, religious, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic settings to become nonexploited/nonexploitive contributing members of the global community. The series draws on the international community of investigators, academics, and community organizers that have contributed to the evidence base for developing sound educational policies, practices, and innovative programs to optimize the potential of all students. Each themed volume includes multidisciplinary theory, research, and practice that provides an enriched understanding of the drivers of human potential via education to assist readers in exploring, adapting, and replicating innovative strategies that enable ALL students to realize their full potential. Among these strategies are the integration of digital technologies (DT) and information and communication technologies (ICT) into contemporary education platforms. However, technology must be more than just a tool to deliver content and stimulate engagement; it must become a means to broaden access to learning, advance equity, promote social justice, and encourage social inclusion. Especially reaching out to address the academic and social needs of rural, impoverished, marginalized, and displaced populations. Though the digital divide continues to hinder educational attainment for underprivileged populations, ICTs are providing significant opportunities to deliver literacy and basic skills instruction to disadvantaged segments of the global population as well as engage, motivate, and customize learning to address local needs. Nonetheless, the availability of ICT is not a deterministic process. Other societal, cultural, political and contextual factors are of fundamental importance to acceptance and integration that enables people to benefit from technology. The relationship between educational access, instructional delivery, and ICT should be considered in more complex terms. In particular, digital technologies should be viewed as instructional tools that improve access to educational opportunities, strengthen cultural resources, promote social and economic equity, and provide students with the knowledge and competencies to prepare them for a future that cannot be predicted. Therefore, developing ICT and media capabilities that instill citizenship and stewardship in today’s students is crucial to gleaning the social and cultural advantages of a contemporary global society that encourages full and equal citizenship. Citizenship education refers to two understandings of citizenship: as belonging and as engagement. The first is focused on national identity and valorizes the values of justice and democracy, as well as language and culture as the roots bridging the personality of children to the community of solidarity and shared norms. The second understanding of citizenship complements the ‘roots’ with ‘roads’, with the choices made by the individual, with the capacity to form and develop the child’s personality into the actor and author of his/her educational, professional, and life projects. The adolescent prepares to become an active, committed, and engaged citizen with the intellectual capacity for critical thinking that leads to responsible actions. Digital citizenship expresses the transformations of both belonging to and engaging in the information society and contributes to the development of generation “Y” with the aspiration to innovate and experiment, to explore the possibilities of the new digital world, to question authorities and instances of knowledge and power. Education addresses digital citizenship by opening more avenues for the intersection of Internet, imagination, and exploration. Volume 10, Elearning & Social Media: Education and Citizenship for the Digital 21st Century, addresses the use of technology in: developing and expanding educational delivery systems to reach rural populations, providing access to equitable education opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized populations, and encouraging student civic engagement. The volume evaluates elearning programs (distributed through the Internet, via satellite and hosted on social media) that promote equitable education for disadvantaged populations; examines the challenges and benefits of social media on student selfidentity, collaboration, and academic engagement; shares promising practices associated with technology in education and ecitizenship in the 21st century, and advances the discussion on blending global citizenship education and social media that raises student awareness, accountability and social justice involvement.