May 25, 2017

How NOT to teach digital citizenship


To paraphrase Steven Wheeler:

If you are alive in the 21st century, you are a global digital citizen.

image byLisa Stevens from CC BY-SA 2.0

What does that mean to me?


Participating in ETL523 through reading, viewing, reflecting, communicating via discussion forums, blog posts, Flipboards and Adobe Connect sessions, and connecting through #etl523 on Twitter and Diigo has meant that I have reflected on what it means to be a digital citizen as I was DOING digital citizenship.   One of the things that I love about M Ed (KNDI) is that as we “talk” about contemporary learning theories and practices, we “walk the walk”, which has given me the confidence and capacity to try some of the things I have been doing and learning about with my colleagues and our students.

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April 25, 2017

Collaborative Projects: the pleasure and the pain

It was with great relief, and a sense of achievement, that I submitted my first assignment for ETL523 – Digital Citizenship in Schools – a collaboratively developed learning module published using wikispaces.

Our lecturer, @julielindsay, offered us words of advice around the need for empathy, communication, collaboration, leadership and compromise, to facilitate successful collaboration on this group assignment.

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April 2, 2017

Being Digitally Literate: Organising my Digital Life

Digital leaders need to be aware of new trends and emerging tools that will support learning in digital environments; that is why PLNs are so important.   Digital leaders need a personalised work space and workflow to be able to manage the information they continually comes across.

These are the digital tools that are currently in my personalised toolbox…

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March 7, 2017

Digital Citizenship for Educators

My top 5 messages for educators about learning in the digital world:


  1. To be a learner today, you have to be a digital learner.  You need to know how to be an effective and literate consumer and contributor of information in digital spaces.
  2. Our students spend much of their lives in digital spaces.  You too are a citizen of the digital world.  You work, play, learn, are entertained, communicate, do business, watch, write, socialise in digital spaces.  You owe it to yourself to be informed about how to do this safely, productively and ethically.  And then you can model this for your students.
  3. You are a lifelong learner, with readily available access to information thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices.  You need to know how to find and use information easily.  You need to know how to create and share information easily and ethically.  You need to do this with, and alongside your students, so they see you as a teacher and a co-learner.  And you need to see your students as fellow teachers also.
  4. You need to connect and collaborate with other educators.  They help you keep informed, they help you learn, they inspire, challenge and support your work.  Build and nurture a Professional Learning Network that helps you to be the best educator you can be.
  5. You help create the digital learning environment.  Sharing your interactions and collaborations, your insights and reflections openly online contributes to our profession as a whole.  Sharing our collective wisdom and experience can only make us all better.

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October 10, 2016

Being Inspired to Inspire: Paying it Forward


pay-it-forwardImage by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon under CC BY 2.0 licence


I have felt some frustration in having to take a few backward steps in my practice this year.  I have moved from a small, innovative primary school where I worked collaboratively with colleagues to embed contemporary learning practices into our practice, to a very large K-12 school where I see pockets  of innovation.  I am finding it challenging working with a much larger staff, many of whom feel pressured to view learning as getting-through-the-syllabus-in-my-subject-area-so-students-can-get-good-marks.  I want to make a difference to the learning culture in my new workplace.

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August 28, 2016

Institutional and Outstitutional Digital Scholarship

Breaking Down Walls by tamaraR on DeviantArt  

I am in the process of reading through and editing an assignment that is due for my Master of Education course about issues in digital scholarship, while my son signs off on a chat that he has just had with a person in Korea he has connected with via conversation exchange, with the aim of improving his conversational Korean.  It is a perfect scenario to use as a context for a description of  the possibilities that digital technologies are offering to learning and scholarship.

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August 11, 2016

Being open to digital scholarship

Realize what traditions you will need to carry forward but also question what is out there that will help make a difference and achieve new things.   (Aida Batlle)

scholarship image

Martin Weller (Wales DTC, 2015) maintains that if he tried to sell the current protocols around academic publishing to a new audience today, people would not buy into it.  However, conservative, traditional, risk-averse academia stand by those protocols, as humorously noted by Emily Willingham in her post “Yes, Serious Academics Should Absolutely Use Social Media”.  Unfortunately, this seems to be an attitude that is shared by the education system as a whole, as it continues to cling to the brink of change, judging the value of a child’s education based on their achievements in statewide tests.

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August 5, 2016

Stop! But go too…

I think the manic energy of Mem Fox’s Magic Hat and the Wizard’s call for a halt can help inform our digital future:

magic hat

I really resonated with Selwyn’s (2010) article about critical study in educational technology, and our need to stop and focus and learn from the “state of the actual” instead of always looking for the “state of the art”.  At a recent Education Nation conference, Dr Simon Breakspear called for a slowing down too, when he suggested a halt to education research for the next 10 years, so that we don’t have to take on more new ideas without having time to try out what we already know.  Tongue in cheek perhaps, but heartfelt nevertheless.  It’s a challenging notion, given that we are living in a time when change is occurring at a phenomenal rate.

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