March 2016 archive

Activity 2: Digital Citizenship Curriculum

I explored the following digital citizenship resources.

I decided to take a closer look at K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum by Common Sense Media and Our Space: Being a responsible citizen of the digital world by the GoodPlay Project. Both cater for students in years 9 to 12 so are suitable for my situation as a Teacher Librarian in a senior school.

K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum from the United States of America has units aimed at different year levels, K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. I focussed on the resources for years 9-12. The aim of the curriculum is to empower children in a world of media and technology in a positive way. The core curriculum is based on research by Dr Howard Gardner and the GoodPlay Project at Harvard School of Graduate Education.

The curriculum offers three different ways of delivering the curriculum using downloadable PDFs, Nearpod lessons and an iBook textbook. There are four units that cover different areas of digital citizenship with five separate lesson plans. The lesson plans are very detailed and include relevant multimedia, worksheets, activities, discussion points, assessment tools and background information. Teachers with limited knowledge of digital citizenship are well supported by the lesson plans and additional support material on the website. Flexibility in how lessons are delivered is provided by the different formats, the Creative Commons licensing and the ability to pick and choose topics within the four units. Common to all lessons is that students are learning by doing and there is room for discussion. The real world scenarios and media rich activities make the curriculum worthwhile considering however some adaptations would be necessary for an Australian audience.

Retrieved from https://youtu.be/XlwmXRpFons

Our Space: Being a responsible citizen of the digital world from the United States of America is a collaboration of the GoodPlay Project and Project New Media Literacies. It is aimed at years 9-12 but some aspects could be used at years 7-8 to promote social skills and cultural competencies required to engage with participatory culture. They have taken a low-tech approach so that lessons can be used in classrooms without an internet connection. Supplementary material allows for a more high-tech approach if required. Our Space is a set of resources for educators and adults to use with young people to discuss digital ethics. Educators can pick and choose from lessons and are free to remix them using Creative Commons Licensing. Most lessons involve reflective exercises, role playing activities and small group discussion using realistic scenarios. Teachers are not expected to be frequent users of social media or Web 2.0 technologies to deliver the lessons. The facilitators guide and detailed lesson plans provide adequate support for educators. While realistic scenarios are used, the pen and paper approach may fail to engage some students. The involvement of Harvard Project Zero would be well received at my school. The American context would require changes to be made to lessons, such as those dealing with copyright, for it to be suitable for Australia.

While acknowledging the challenges and negative aspects the internet can bring, the above resources take a positive approach to digital citizenship and can be embedded into the curriculum or used for just in time lessons.

 

Activity 1: sharing digital citizenship and DLE ideas

My notes and reflections so far…

My existing definition of digital citizenship includes the descriptors that Greenhow (2010) presents from her brief study amongst teenagers. A good digital citizen should use digital communication technologies in a safe, legal, ethical and responsible manner. However after reading Greenhow (2010), I feel that I need to expand my definition to include positive participation in a globalised digital environment.

Digital Citizenship (1)

I believe digital citizenship is important and that I should model it for my students and colleagues. At this early stage of ETL523, the nine elements of digital citizenship by Ribble, Bailey and Ross that Greenhow (2010) lists would contribute to an informed, publicly engaged digital citizen. The nine elements are: digital etiquette, digital communication, digital access, digital literacy, digital commerce, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness and digital security. The nine elements are described in more detail here

Up until now the direction that I have taken personally and professionally is rudimentary and tends to translate behaviours from the physical library and school environment to the digital environment. At school the focus is on acknowledging sources in bibliographies, avoiding plagiarism, the importance of copyright and cybersafety.

This word cloud contains terminology related to digital citizenship from the reading so far.


Created with Tagul.com

References

Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 24-25.

Digital Learning Environment

My definition of a digital learning environment utilises technology to provide digital access to digital resources and spaces for learning that are not limited to a physical realm. Digital learning environments can take on different forms but usually consist of a variety of tools and technologies and are increasingly mobile and social.

At my school the digital learning environment is made possible by the network infrastructure that provides network, internet and wi-fi access to desktop computers and iPads. A learning management system has recently been implemented so teachers and students are transitioning to this new space. Email is heavily relied on for sharing and communicating and the use of Google Drive has been encouraged. A recently upgraded library management system offers new digital possibilities for interaction with the school community for me as a teacher librarian. Within the library I utilise a combination of tools for curation, screencasting and sharing.

My personal digital learning environment is vast and always changing. It is an important component to my PLN as represented below.
My PLN

As an educator I have to be aware of changes created by our digital lifestyle. I believe my personal learning network and my studies are integral in keeping me informed and aware of technological changes and the impact they may have. By actively participating and collaborating with others using social networking, I feel more confident in transferring my skills to new digital environments. Academic and 21st century skills need to be developed (Kemker, 2005) at school so that students can navigate their digital world.

Social networking has impacted on teaching and learning by providing informal learning opportunities for students. Teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge. Students can learn from their peers or other experts using social networks and YouTube (Richardson, 2008). The video below outlines research into informal learning.

Kemker, K. (2005). The digital learning environment: What the research tells us. Apple White Paper.

Richardson, W. (2008, December 3). World without walls: Learning well with others. Edutopia. Retrieved fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technology-will-richardson.