Digital citizenship a top focus in California education

Students today face a unique set of issues that many of their instructors can’t fully relate to. They are growing up with their lives displayed online — but how much caution do they exercise in managing their digital presence?

The California Department of Education (CDE) is making a concerted, department-wide effort to raise awareness for digital citizenship and provide cybersecurity tips to both students and educators. This effort was especially ramped up last month during Digital Citizenship Week , according to Geoff Belleau, an education program consultant with CDE.

“We’re trying to connect schools with resources and empower them and educate them,” Belleau says in a recent interview with EdScoop TV.

When it comes to digital citizenship, many people don’t think to check the depth of their online presence, Belleau points out.

“Kids today, their lives are on YouTube,” Belleau says. “You know that thing I did my senior year with me and three other guys? There’s no video of that. … Our kids don’t have that luxury.”

Through state education department, Belleau and his colleagues are focused on bringing digital citizenship to the forefront of edtech discussions and educating people on the many cybersecurity concerns associated with the topic.

Cyberbullying, Belleau says, is another area of digital citizenship that most adults don’t fully relate to but need to be aware of.

Looking toward the future, Belleau is especially attentive to the way cybersecurity is evolving and how CDE can develop policies and practices to stay ahead of tech trends and security threats.