“MASON” WAS A HIGH achiever and a dream student in any school.
By grade 10, Mason, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy, was consistently on the honor roll and a top athlete. He was known to be driven, hardworking and responsible. So it was shocking to all who knew him when he was caught plagiarizing an essay – submitting a paper he’d found online as his own work.
Since this seriously violated school policy, Mason was suspended. He was flooded with feelings of shame, anxiety, depression and self-hatred. The revelation and suspension resulted in Mason losing his place on a school sports team. This lead to further social isolation, and he became angry with his school for “dumping” him and not recognizing his “worth.” He began to lash out at coaches and team members, inflamed his parents against the school administration and retreated into further uncontrolled internet use.
Digital citizenship is a cornerstone of 21st century education. However, digital citizenship encompasses much more than adept web surfing or social media nimbleness. It transcends simple expertise. In its ideal form, digital citizenship fosters literacy, communication and responsibility. It doesn’t even require the presence of cellphones in the classroom, as exemplified by