Archive of ‘ETL523’ category

Reflection: Digital citizenship in schools


The evolving context of digital landscapes and how these impact life and learning, is something I am keenly interested in. My interest in this topic is both professional, through my role as a Teacher Librarian, and personal, in my role as a parent of teenagers. The subject ETL523: Digital citizenship in schools has provided an opportunity to explore how we can adequately prepare young people for life and work in 21st century futures. In my first blog post for this subject, I wrote:

“The Students I work with live digital lifestyles. They attend a BYOT school that requires them to own a laptop. Additionally, the majority of them also own personal mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Some of them also have wearable computers such as smart watches and fitbits. They use social media and belong to online communities. They are often texting, downloading, updating and searching and they are always looking for Wi-Fi and chargers. Come to think of it, this same lifestyle is lived by their teachers, parents, grandparents, coaches and employers. It’s just the way life is for many in modern society”.

It was at this very early point in the course that I came to appreciate that due to the ubiquity of technology, life in 21st century Australia is digital and as such digital citizenship and citizenship should not be considered different entities. Furthermore, citizenship is fundamentally about participation in society and issues of access, rights, responsibilities and contributions to the collective are as important in our digital interactions as they are in our civil communities. The readings throughout the modules have broadened my thinking about digital citizenship in education and highlighted three interconnected issues that I would like to address in this reflection. These include: the digital divide; learning in a connected world; and the importance of teacher role models.

The digital divide

Throughout the modules in this course, we were challenged to consider questions such as:

  • Why is it important to establish digital learning environments in schools?;
  • Why should we teach digital citizenship?; and
  • Why must educators accept the professional responsibility to lead and support digital citizenship development?

One of the most compelling answers to all three of these questions is because digital and media literacies of participatory cultures are necessary in the 21st century for “social inclusion, business development, service delivery, creative expression, innovation, collaboration and employment” (O’Leary, 2012,Para.19). Essentially, this creates a digital divide that is not about access to technology but about access to the opportunities, experiences and skills required for participatory cultures. Individuals who find they lack such skills are at risk of being on the wrong side of the divide and left behind in academia and the workplace (Jenkins, 2006, p.3; Crocket, Jukes and Churches, 2011, p.14; O’Leary, 2012; and Seely Brown, 2012, p.15).

Learning in a connected world

One of the opportunities afforded in this course was to participate in a collaborative wiki project. The realities of digital citizenship and learning in connected environments were experienced in this project and as a member of a group working towards a common goal; it was imperative that I put into practice digital communication, the ethical and legal use of others’ intellectual and creative property, technical awareness and digital literacy, social awareness and interpersonal skills, and responsible and reliable contributions for shared academic outcomes. Such practices are among those outlined in Ribble’s Nine elements of digital citizenship (2011) and Enlightened digital citizenship model produced by Lindsay & Davis (2013). A conclusion drawn from this experience is that digital citizenship education requires two key components – understanding the competencies necessary for participation in digital environments and understanding learning in a connected world.

Teacher as role model

The course work for Digital citizenship in schools has also informed my professional practice in regards to my own online participation. One of the key questions considered in another blog post response to the course work, is how do we teach digital citizenship? A starting point is for teachers to practice what they need to teach. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) considers it paramount for teachers to possess the skills and behaviours necessary for participation in the digital age and to model these for students (2008). Clark (in Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011, p.38), Ribble (2011, loc.1901) and Lindsay & Davis (2013, p.98) are also among those advocating the necessity for teachers to lead by example in the arena of digital citizenship. To “practice what I teach”, I ensured that I shared information in social media environments such as Diigo and Twitter and experimented with new tools and published original creative content in order to go beyond consuming information. To this end, I created an infographic of Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship, an embedded Google slideshow of titled Teaching digital citizenship = leading by example; and produced a two-part video guide introducing teachers to the basics of building a PLN for my digital artefact in the collaborative wiki task.

As the subject draws to a close, the challenges and opportunities afforded have been many and have already started to impact my working life. My goal is to transfer these understandings to library and classroom practice to prepare students for futures in connected and participatory environments.

References

Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is not enough: 21st-century fluencies for the digital age. Kelowna, B.C.: 21st Century Fluency Project.

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J. (2011). Digital citizenship in K-12: It takes a village. TechTrends, 55(4), 37-48. Retrieved March 28, 2015.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2015). ISTE Standards. Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century [White paper]. Retrieved from MacArthur Foundation websitehttp://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF.

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. A. (2013). Citizenship. In Flattening classrooms, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time (pp. 97-125). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

O’Leary, T. (2012, October 10). Making connections to end digital divide. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/making-connections-to-end-digital-divide-20121009-27aul.html#ixzz2nF0cHrLS

Ribble, M. (2011). Digital Citizenship in Schools : Nine Elements All Students Should Know (2nd Edition). Eugene, OR, USA: ISTE. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Seely Brown, J. (2012, November 21-22). Learning in and for the 21st Century. Lecture presented at CJ Koh Professorial Lecture Series No.4 in Singapore, Singapore. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://www.johnseelybrown.com/CJKoh.pdf

Developing digital leaders = including students in your school’s digital citizenship strategy

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We cannot predict what technology will look like by the time our students graduate so how do we educate them to be citizens of a digital world that does not exist yet?  This is a question I am considering as I do some research into developing a school-wide digital citizenship program.  According to some of the literature, one answer may lie in adding student leadership to the plan for a school’s digital citizenship strategy.

Over the past five years, mobile device and ubiquitous internet connection have become more accessible to adolescents and secondary schools have found themselves dealing with increasing incidents of digital behaviour issues such as cyberbullying and sexting.  For many educational leaders, the rapidity of technological change meant that these issues seemed to come out of nowhere and they responded to these incidents on a case-by-case basis (Ohler, 2012, p.15) and by developing Acceptable Use policies which are mostly lists of rules and what Crockett, Jukes & Churches call “the thou-shalt-nots of using technology” (2011, p.122).  Ohler states that the problem with these approaches is that they address symptoms issues (2012, p.15).  It also means that schools are being reactive rather than proactive when it comes to digital citizenship.

An alternative approach suggests that schools should craft a vision for digital citizenship education that includes a set of core beliefs about what constitutes smart, responsible and ethical decisions both online and and in real life (Chen & Orth, 2013, para.5).  It is also advocated that students are included in developing and enacting this vision (Chen & Orth, 2013; Ohler, 2012; and Harper, 2008).  As Harper points out, “students make up about 92% of people in attendance in any school [yet] most technology plans focus on the role of the other 8% (teachers, administrators, adult technical support staff)”  (2008, p.1).  Furthermore, designing programs should incorporate the same principles as other forms of design and it is repeatedly stated that addressing the user’s experience is essential when designing innovative solutions (Brown, 2009; Bennett, 2007; Buchanan, 1992; and Kimbell, 2011).  In the case of education, addressing the user’s experience necessitates a co-creative design process that includes student voice (Sanders & Stapers, 2008, p.5).

Some of the benefits of including students in designing digital citizenship programs include:

  • an end product that is responsive to the reality of students’ cyber lives (Ohler, 2012, p.15)
  • an opportunity for students and adults to engage in conversations about living digitally (Ohler, 201, p.16)
  • increased relevance of education to students (Harper, 2008, p.2)
  • improved technology integration school-wide (Harper, 2008, p.2)
  • an opportunity for students to participate in leadership opportunities tied to technology (Harper, 2008, p.2)

Importantly, inviting students to partner with teachers, administrators and parents in the development of digital citizenship strategies means they are “taking action to proliferate new ideas and better habits of learning” (CSU, 2015, para.1) and this offers an authentic opportunity for student digital leadership.

References

Bennett, P. (2007, May 16). Design is in the details. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0O003kufA&feature=youtu.be

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking creates new alternatives for business and society. New York: Collins Business.

Buchanan, R. (1992).  Wicked problems in design thinking.  Design Issues, 8(2), 5–21.http://www.jstor.org/stable/1511637

Charles Sturt University (CSU). (2015). Empowering digital citizenship action, ETL523 Digital Citizenship in Schools. Retrieved May, 2015.

Chen, E., & Orth, D. (2013). The strategy for digital citizenship. NAIS Independent School Magazine, (Summer). Retrieved May 16, 2015, from http://www.nais.org/Magazines-Newsletters/ISMagazine/Pages/The-Strategy-for-Digital-Citizenship.aspx

Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is not enough: 21st-century fluencies for the digital age. Kelowna, B.C.: 21st Century Fluency Project.

Harper, D. (2008). Vision to action: Adding student leadership to your technology plan. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from http://www.genyes.org/files/staticcontent/downloads5.pdf

Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking design thinking: Part 1. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306. Retrieved August 23, 2014, from http://www.lucykimbell.com/stuff/DesignPractices_Kimbell_DC_final_public.pdf

Ohler, J. (2012). Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age. Education Digest, 77(8), 14-17. Retrieved May 14, 2015.

Sanders, E. B., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 4(1), 5-18. doi:10.1080/15710880701875068

Image Attribution

Engineering student reading a digital tablet in student lounge. [Photograph]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.

http://quest.eb.com/search/184_365111/1/184_365111/cite

 

A Guide for Developing a PLN for Educators

When considering how to shape digital citizenship development among students, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) considers it paramount for teachers to possess the skills and behaviours necessary for participation in the digital age and to model these for students (2008). It is argued that understanding both digital competencies and new ways of learning in order to model digital citizenship become possible when educators take on the responsibility of developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011, p.10).

Sometimes, the idea of beginning a PLN may sound daunting for teachers. The following two-part guide aims to introduce the basics of building a PLN specifically for educators, including the terminology, tools, and methods necessary to get started.

References 

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). Standards for teachers. Retrieved April 2, 2015, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-teachers

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). The power of networked learning. In Personal Learning Networks: Using the power of connections to transform education (pp. 1-14). Moorabbin, Cictoria: Solution Tree Press.

Teaching digital citizenship = leading by example

Leading by example = being online + social networking + publishing & creating + connecting & facilitating

Teaching in a world characterised by networked information, mobile devices, social media and an omnipresent participation in online environments necessitates embedding digital citizenship into classrooms across the curriculum. In particular, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) stipulate the embedding of digital competencies into learning areas across the curriculum through the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability (ACARA, 2014, ICT capability across the curriculum, Para 1).

The question, is how do we teach digital citizenship? A starting point is for teachers to practice what they need to teach. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) considers it paramount for teachers to possess the skills and behaviours necessary for participation in the digital age and to model these for students (2008). Clark (in Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011, p.38), Ribble (2011, loc.1901) and Lindsay & Davis (2013, p.98) are also among those advocating the necessity for teachers to lead by example in the arena of digital citizenship.

This following slideshow contains four slides that will present methods for teachers to model effective attitudes and practices in digital environments. It seems obvious, that to model digital citizenship, the first step teachers need to take is to participate online.  Once online, teachers need to belong and contribute to networks, go beyond consuming information and start publishing and creating and facilitate student connections.


References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (downloaded from the Australian Curriculum website on 5 May, 2014). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability [PDF]. Australian Curriculum Assesment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J. (2011). Digital citizenship in K-12: It takes a village. TechTrends, 55(4), 37-48. Retrieved March 28, 2015.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). ISTE Standards: Teachers [PDF]. Arlington: International Society for Technology in Education. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-T_PDF.pdf

Lindsay, J., & davis, V.A. (2013). Citizenship.  In Flattening classrooms. engaging minds:  move to global collaboration one step at a time (pp. 97-125).  Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Becon Publishers.

Ribble, M. (2011). Digital citizenship in schools. Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Digital Lifestyle = Public = Digital Citizenship = Digital Learning Environment

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A digital lifestyle

The Students I work with live digital lifestyles. They attend a BYOT school that requires them to own a laptop. Additionally, the majority of them also own personal mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Some of them also have wearable computers such a smart watches and fitbits. They use social media and belong to online communities. They are often texting, downloading, updating and searching and they are always looking for Wi-Fi and chargers. Come to think of it, this same lifestyle is lived by their teachers, parents, grandparents, coaches and employers. It’s just the way life is for many in modern society.

Public roles as media makers & community participants

Modern society requires people to take on “increasingly public roles as media makers and community participants” (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison, & Weigel, 2006, p.3). Preparing students for the modern workplace and academia requires adding non-traditional skills, knowledge and cultural competencies to our curriculums. To be best prepared for their futures, students will need to:

  • understand right behaviours and build the practical skills required to use technology in healthy, responsible and safe ways;
  • be able to learn from and build knowledge with peers and teams of people, often whom they may never meet face-to-face;
  • value intellectual property in order to use the work of others legally and ethically and also to license their own work appropriately;
  • be critical users of information so that they choose authoritative sources and are aware of the ways that media shape perceptions of the world; and
  • understand how to contribute to the collective in order to develop meaningful solutions.

Digital citizenship education

In Australia, the Digital Education Revolution saw laptops put into the hands of students. As this initiative has reached its conclusion, schools across the country are implementing BYOD policies (Smith, 2014, Para.2). Given this, it is time for education to shift the focus from the equitable provision of digital access to the equitable provision of opportunities to use technology to develop the social, academic and cultural literacies required for digital participation. Furthermore, teachers who simply use devices as electronic notepads or textbooks will fail to provide opportunities for students to build digital citizenship competencies and attitudes such as those outlined by Mike Ribble (2011, p.11):

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Digital learning environments

Authentic digital citizenship education requires digital learning environments. By enabling students to communicate, create, collaborate, disseminate, store and manage information in these environments digital citizenship knowledge and skills are not a choice for students and teachers to adopt, they are a necessity. Schools that are preparing young people for 21st century pathways understand the need for such environments and their responsibility to “develop the skills needed for critical evaluation, online collaboration and communication and behaviours which support safe, responsible and ethical use of digital technology” (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2010, p.8).

What does this mean for my students?

That brings me back to my students and what I need to consider for their learning. One of the things that I think is important for authentic digital citizenship education is for students to engage in environments beyond the Content Management System (CMS). This means we need to use Web 2.0 tools and social media in our classrooms. By doing so, we can lead our students towards positive digital footprints. Furthermore, if we don’t guide students to participate in authentic online environments and communities, we risk the proliferation of ignorance about the consequences and permanence of their online interactions.

References

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2010). Digital learning statement. Innovation and Next Practice Division, Melbourne. Digital Learning Statement [Fact sheet].Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/programs/archive/dls.pdf

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century [White paper]. Retrieved from MacArthur Foundation websitehttp://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF.

Ribble, M. (2011). Digital Citizenship in Schools : Nine Elements All Students Should Know (2nd Edition). Eugene, OR, USA: ISTE. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Smith, A. (2014, February 21). End of free laptop program means it’s BYO device now for many high school students. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 14, 2015.

Image attribution

Stokpic, Person Abstract Ipad No Face Sky Clouds Man, CC0 Public Domain