4.7c | Digital Wisdom

As a digital citizen advocate, the coach is expected to support educators and students to critically examine the sources of online media and identify underlying assumptions.

With the convenience and advancements brought about by technology comes a whole host of other problems such as the issue of fake news. At times it may seem like discrepancies online should be apparent with common sense. Unfortunately, common sense at times may be quite uncommon. That is why the education of digital wisdom is necessary to help students to critically examine the sources of online media and identify underlying assumptions.

In a Digital Ethics Audit Project I worked on, I mapped the various ISTE standards on Digital Citizen Advocate to the course objectives covering Philosophical and theological foundations, Digital wisdom, Digital diversity, equity, and inclusion, and  Digital wellbeing. Based on the course objectives, I then composed a comprehensive set of questions for my digital ethics audit. In the area of digital wisdom, I considered structuring questions like the school’s guidelines for governing the distinguishing of fake news from online resources based on facts as well as how the school is equipping and empowering teachers to teach digital citizenship more effectively?

In my post on “Distilling Truth from a Sea of Disinformation“, I outlined five principles for digital users to be alert active learners when consuming media online:

  1. “Be skeptical” – question everything!
  2. “Exercise Judgment” – summon your critical thinking skills when choosing what/who to believe and trust.
  3. “Open Your Mind” – be open to investigating legitimate sources of opposing views to you.
  4. “Keep Asking Questions” – keep an investigative mindset.
  5. “Learn Media Techniques” – be a user of social media to understand the culture and trappings of the different media.

I also shared 5 questions that students can ask when gathering information online in my post titled “Fake News and the Crap Detection Radar“. The 5 questions can be easily remembered using the C-R-A-A-P acronym:

  1. Currency – Is it current?
  2. Reliability – Is it reliable?
  3. Authority – Is it authoritative?
  4. Accuracy – Is it accurate?
  5. Purpose – What is the purpose of the story?

Digital Wisdom is an especially essential trait when it comes to the realm of artificial intelligence. In my post titled “Ethical AI by Design: Key Issues of Ethical AI“, I advocated the need for educators to redirect education towards raising up students who are critical thinkers, capable of reflecting on deeper fundamental questions on human dignity, freedom, and justice.

In my research on Digital Wisdom, I was inspired by the writings of Marc Prensky (2012) who describes digital wisdom as a two-fold concept:

  1. “Wisdom arising from the use of digital technology to access cognitive power beyond our usual capacity”
  2. “Wisdom in the use of technology to enhance our innate capabilities.”

This practice of digital wisdom calls for educators to recognize the need for preparing children for the future by guiding them to learn using new technologies wisely, and not merely just to teach them how to use the technology.


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