I interview my friend Principal Yang is a kindergarten principal in Hong Kong. And through this interview to explore and understand how much Hong Kong’s early childhood educators’ understanding of digital citizenship, how they have implemented their responsibilities related to digital citizenship, and how to teach relevant knowledge to children. Also, briefly explored their concerns and challenges in intellectual property, teacher and student privacy, database, and network security, and shared with them some feasible solutions.
Level of understanding Digital citizenship:
In the first part of the question, I mainly want to know how Hong Kong educators understand the concept of Digital citizenship and whether it can be encouraged in Hong Kong schools ISTE Standard 7a: Inspire and encourage educators and students to use technology for civic engagement and to address challenges to improve their communities. According to Martens & Hobbs, students participating in the Digital and Media Literacy Programs will have a higher chance of participating in discussions on social issues than students not participating in such Programs. (Martens, H., & Hobbs, R., 2015) Therefore, I also hope that through understanding whether children can be taught some relevant behaviors and values in early childhood education, to help them grow up in the future, especially that they will be in a digital age to have the correct awareness and ability to use digital technology effectively.
Overall, through this interview, Hong Kong educators are very lacking in this aspect of information. They do not know or know Digital citizenship at all. There is also insufficient local information to provide educators with such knowledge and information. Perhaps due to the lack of knowledge, most schools and educators generally did not research this aspect and explore how to implement it. Therefore, they would not consider how to pass this knowledge to students. It is a meaningful topic for deepening and research. I believe it can help more educators in Hong Kong understand better how to effectively and correctly use different digital technologies to help them improve the quality of education and teach students to use them correctly. Digital technology and the internet for learning.
As Principal Yang pointed out that as an early childhood educator, she does not think that digital technology is of great significance to her teaching. Because they do not agree to use electronic and digital products as tools to assist young children in learning at the early childhood stage. But at the same time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kindergartens need to suspend classes, and teachers forced to use zoom and other tools for part of the teaching. It made her feel very troubled and contradictory in this regard.
Use digital resources and online materials as a model for the safe and honest use of a digital system:
Since the interviewee did not know about Digital citizenship, the content of the interview was changed to a preference to understand the difficulties encountered by Hong Kong educators in the process of using digital technology. And I hope to focus on understanding whether schools in Hong Kong can achieve or implement ISTE Standard 7d: Empower educators, leaders, and students to make informed decisions to protect their personal data and curate the digital profile they intend to reflect.
Principal Yang pointed out that in the process of teaching using digital
technology, which makes her feel the most difficult is how to protect the privacy of teachers and students and ensure their safety in the process of using the internet. Besides, teachers often go online. Looking for materials to make courses, how to ensure the information selected by the teacher credibility of the source are also issues that he needs to consider as a principal. However, in the interview, she did not mention about copyright of online resources and how to respect the original author. Although they consciously protect and respect the originality of the book, and the right to use me, it seems that in terms of online resources In this, Hong Kong educators do not have too clear guidelines and awareness to protect the authors of relevant materials.
But, when answering questions about whether their school has adopted any solutions and technologies to protect network security and the school’s internal data. In this regard, the school where Principal Yang shared her did not carry out any special digital security and did not install any program to protect the school’s database. In the event of an attack, the personal data of students and teachers and most of the school’s data may be stolen. All they can rely on is the security capabilities of the student database system itself.
Principal Yang said that because she does not have enough knowledge in this area, it is difficult to judge which solution is suitable for them. The government and relevant departments have no clear guidelines to help them improve their knowledge and skills in this area. Therefore, it is possible that most schools will have a considerable loophole in network security and the protection of the privacy of students and teachers. Unless the individual school has its own technical personnel who know this aspect and provide the school with relevant technology and protection.
Support teachers and students strike a balance between digital media and classroom teaching:
In the third set of questions, try to explore how Hong Kong educators can help their teachers and students balance between virtual and physical life to ensure physical and mental health. To achieve ISTE Standard 7b: Partner with educators, leaders, students, and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.
Principal Yang, The problems in this category resonate most. On the one hand, as an early childhood educator, she does not want and disagrees that digital technology is an effective media and platform as a learning tool for young children, but due to COVID-19, she and her team Have to use different online platforms and social workers to teach and communicate with students’ parents. Due to the lack of awareness of related technology and digital education, the irregular and repeated use of digital media and the Internet in the past year has made teachers feel very tired. On the one hand, it is necessary to change the content of the courses prepared in the past to be suitable for use on the Internet, but in the process, it was found that many of the originally prepared contents failed to exert the same effect in the physical classroom in online teaching. Therefore, they need to spend a lot of time re-editing and making new curriculum editors suitable for digital education.
During communication, I encourage him to try to help teachers establish mutual aid resources. Through the effective sharing of the information they collect from each other, they can reduce the time they spend on data collection and lesson preparation. At the same time, teachers can use this method We monitor the authenticity of the data collected by everyone to increase the accuracy of the data.
As for the students, as an early childhood educator, Principal Yang does not want his students to be exposed to and use digital electronic tools during their studies in principle. However, outside the classroom, parents may use electronic digital tools to reduce their children, especially children’s attention to their parents. Principal Yang This aspect is difficult to control. What they can do as educators are to let parents learn about digital The importance of electronic tools cannot replace communication with children. In Dunckley article, he also shared that many parents think that Digital Technology can increase their children’s concentration in certain areas and improve their communication. When they think these tools are effective, it is the beginning of serious problems. (Dunckley, K., 2016) both Principal Yang and Dunckley raise great doubts about these issues.
In conclusion, through this visit, I have gained a deeper understanding of Hong Kong’s educators and education circles who do not fully understand and understand digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship. This is their potential fear and pessimism of using digital technology. But at the same time, they also Understand that even young children are born in the post-digital era. They must understand how to use digital technology in this new era. Therefore, as an educator, we must not underestimate how to educate these new generations to have a correct and good attitude to face and use these digital technologies.
Therefore, I propose that there is basically no difference between the Internet and real life in teaching students to have good morals and values. By encouraging and teaching students how to face friends positively and positively, even young children, express positive and encouraging suggestions, express empathy, and care, and avoid using words and various methods to make negative criticisms and hurt others. The above various values have a positive and positive influence both online and in real social life.
Hans Martens & Renee Hobbs. (2015). How media Literacy supports civic engagement in a Digital Age. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Dunckley, K., (2016).Autism and Screen Time: Special Brains, Special Risks. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201612/autism-and-screen-time-special-brains-special-risks