ERG SES H 08, Technology and Education
Technology has become an indispensable part of our personal and professional lives alike. In the information era, we live in is different from the previous ones in which technology did not have a significant influence on social life. The transformations happening at the societal level have consequently triggered changes in how individuals behave and created an identity called ‘digital citizens’ (Gülseçen, Özdemir, Çelik, Uğraş & Özcan, 2013). Digital citizenship is regarded as one of the foundational concepts of the modern democracy (Missingham, 2009). It also covers the ability to act responsibly and ethically in online environments (Mitchell & Jones, 2015). For a secure and peaceful future, children’s education should take the priority (Aydın, 2015), and the development of digital citizenship traits is an increasingly important part of their education. In addition to teaching how to be a good digital citizen, teachers should serve as role models for their students. Thus, contemporary teacher standards often require teachers to have digital citizenship skills and provide a living example of a digital citizen (Greenhow, 2010).
It is clear that, Information and communication technologies have advantages as well as disadvantages, and one of them is cyberloafing (Çınar & Karcıoğlu, 2015). Cyberloafing is among such uses, and it refers to an individual’s deliberate uses of information technologies for the purposes not related to the task at hand (Ünal & Tekdemir, 2015). In the literature, the definitions of cyberloafing often refer to work environments. However, since the Internet been introduced to the school computers, students exhibit cyberloafing behaviors especially in computer labs (Brubaker, 2006). Nonetheless, a widespread definition for educational contexts does not exist (Kalaycı, 2010). Educators report increases in cyberloafing in the school environment. Therefore, there exists a need for an updated cyberloafing definition that covers ICT-enabled learning institutions as well as work environments. Cyberloafing at school can be defined as spending time on the internet activities unrelated to school tasks during school hours (Kalaycı, 2010).
Cyberloafing behaviors may have unpleasant effects on both students and learning environments. Chang and Law (2008) stated that students’ excessive internet use behaviors might lead to problematic internet use in their future professional lives as well as social environments. Hence, the need for the studies focusing on students’ use of the internet in learning environments has increased in the recent years (Ergün & Altun, 2012). All stakeholders of education should take precautions for this issue, a constructive solution would be to teach the students how to act ethically and responsibly online rather than imposing restrictions on their uses (Ohler, 2011). A proper online ethics and responsibility training can enable us to replace negative side effects of technology including cyberloafing with a state of cyber wellness (Searson, Hancock, Soheil and Shepherd, 2015).
The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between digital citizenship and cyberloafing levels of the prospective teachers in computer education and instructional technology (CEIT) department. In the study, "digital ethics-law" and "digital communication and literacy" dimensions of digital citizenship were discussed. Digital ethics-law dimension are defined as the use of digital technologies in accordance with the ethics, copyrights and legal rules. Digital communication and literacy, require individuals to have basic knowledge and skills in communicating using different digital technologies.
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