Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Article 4: Students and a Digital Driver's License

In the article, Students Need a Digital Driver’s License before they can Start Their Engines, gives an incredibly insightful idea on how to promote digital citizenship to students. Authors Gary Swan and Marty Park have created this “driver’s license” idea so that their students could be smart when using technology. Students are given DDLs (Digital Driver’s License) after completing modules that teach students the importance of digital citizenship. Students are given cases in which they are tested on so and upon completion and passing, they are given their DDL and are able to access the school’s internet and iPads for educational use. The cases include etiquette, low risk behaviors online and internet safety. More and more districts are using the idea and often altering them to make the idea work best for their schools. As of now, they are gearing it towards the high school level ages because it is somewhat of a contract claiming that they do know how they need to behave, so if they use the technology in any inappropriate way, they can take the device away.

I found this article to be perfect in creating an effective, safe, technological learning environment with students. As a teacher, it would be a lesson in the use of technology, but also how to use it appropriately. Having the students be tested on the material would show understanding of their responsibility to use the internet in a responsible manner allows educators to spend less time monitoring and more time using the technology for its purpose; learning.

The follows digital citizenship for the ISTE NETS because it is helping students learns about technology on top of how they are to use it in a school setting. The cases teach about internet safety, cyber bullying, and other situations that can have a negative outcome with technology.
Park, M. & Swan, G. (2012, January). Students need a digital driver's license before they can start their engines. Learning and Leading, 40(4),


  1. This is a great concept and a great idea by the authors. Giving students the tools they need to be responsible digital citizens is very important in today's world. Having students complete modules in order to gain further access to technology is a great incentive for students to behave themselves online. I believe more schools should come up with a program similar to this one.

  2. I love this idea. Completing modules to in the end receive a digital drivers license is a great way to motivate students to keep learning more and more about technology. It is crucial that high school students especially learn about technology since many of them will hopefully be going to college and will need to have basic technological skills. It is also a great way to teach about cyber bullying and respect.