Character Education for Cyberspace: Developing Good Netizens
Social Studies Volume 93, Number 3, ISSN 0037-7996
At the simplest level, cyberspace is a sea of information that functions as a huge, generally disorganized, database. At a more complex level, cyberspace functions as a communication medium. In the most complex sense, cyberspace may be conceived as a parallel world where people can conduct ordinary activities without engaging in the physical acts traditionally associated with such activities. In this form of cyberspace, there is no central power, no real territory, and no hierarchical structure. The somewhat anarchic nature of cyberspace gives rise to psychological mechanisms that are not typically possible in other venues of human activity. In this sense, the world of cyberspace can be distinguished from what might be thought of as the real world. As we educate children for life and citizenship in the twenty-first century, we are remiss if we ignore the impact of technology on our lives. In this article, the authors discuss how human interactions in cyberspace differ from those in the real world and how the differences represent a new challenge to the task of developing civic virtue and character in youth. They also offer suggestions for practicing good netizenship and discussing issues of civic virtue in cyberspace within the classroom.
Milson, A.J. & Chu, B.W. (2002). Character Education for Cyberspace: Developing Good Netizens. Social Studies, 93(3), 117-119.