A driver's license is required for an individual to operate a vehicle on the road because driving a vehicle requires a certain level of knowledge, skill and *Maturity* to ensure the safety of the driver and other individuals on the road.
Similarly, a "License to use the Internet" should be required for an individual to be active online. That's because using the Internet requires a certain level of knowledge, skill and *Internet Maturity* to ensure the online safety of oneself & others, while taking advantages of online opportunities.
Just as driving a vehicle can have consequences such as causing accidents or breaking traffic laws, using the Internet can also have consequences such as spreading misinformation or engaging in cyberbullying. Therefore, a license to use the Internet could serve as a way to educate individuals on responsible Internet usage and ensure that they are aware of the potential consequences of their actions online.
The license to use the Internet is basically Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity skills!
Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology, including the Internet. It involves understanding and practicing safe and ethical behavior online, such as respecting the privacy of others, protecting personal information, and being mindful of the impact of one's actions on others. Internet Maturity refers to the ability to use the Internet in a responsible and advantageous manner. This includes being able to evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources, being able to recognize and avoid online threats, being able to leverage online tools for career success, and being respectful and considerate of others in the virtual world.
Having Digital Citizenship and Internet Maturity skills can be seen as equivalent to having a license to use the Internet because it indicates that an individual has the knowledge and understanding necessary to use the Internet safely and responsibly. Just as a driver's license demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a vehicle safely, Digital Citizenship and Internet Maturity skills demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
Having a license to drive indicates that an individual has a thorough understanding of the various aspects of driving, including the rules of the road, driving discipline, and the technical aspects of operating a vehicle. Similarly, having a "License to use the Internet" indicates that an individual has a thorough understanding of the various aspects of using the Internet, including the technical features of browsers, connecting to the Internet, and understanding social and professional networking.
Especially for students, a "License to use the Internet" indicates knowledge and skills to:
- Effectively use search engines to find information online.
- Use discussion forums and write blogs effectively.
- Use online educational resources such as OCWs (OpenCourseWare) and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) effectively.
- Follow online safety rules and protect oneself and one's personal information online.
- Create and maintain a positive online reputation.
If a child goes online without the knowledge and skills necessary for responsible and safe Internet use, it can lead to "accidents" or negative consequences. Children are particularly vulnerable to online threats such as cyberbullying, grooming, and exposure to inappropriate content, and may not have the knowledge or skills to recognize and avoid these threats.
In addition to being a victim of online threats, a child who lacks the knowledge and skills for responsible Internet use may also inadvertently hurt others through their actions online. For example, they may engage in cyberbullying or harass others without understanding the harm that this can cause. They may also violate cyber laws, such as by plagiarizing or defaming others, without understanding the consequences of their actions.
Basically every child must be provided the "License to use the Internet" before he or she becomes very active online. In practical sense this means every child must be given DCIM skills!