I started ETL523 assuming I had a good understanding of digital citizenship; I am relatively fluent with technology, I model an appropriate digital reputation and I have written and delivered digital citizenship curriculum. However, much of my previous education for digital citizenship was related to fear and warnings, rather than a positive, participatory approach, using exploration and practice to learn. ETL523 has broadened my understanding and knowledge beyond the basics of good manners and online security, to include the global context and the collaborative, social and participatory nature of digital citizenship. It has reinforced the power of positive.

ETL523 has provided the learning space to investigate and consider connection. Through the first assessment task, I learnt to use a series of Web 2.0 tools to present my own work (Sway, Padlet, Snapchat); however, the initiative in which I have not yet invested is global connection in the classroom as advocated by Lindsay and Davis (2012). ETL523 has provided me with the awareness and impetus that this is the new paradigm towards which my own teaching needs to progress.

In a previous blog post (Plenty, 2015), I highlighted concerns about Michael Godsey’s article, The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher (2015), which on its release created quite a reaction from the educational community. Godsey is not alone in the perception that technology will diminish the role of educators; recently David Susskind released The Future of the Professions, where it is asserted technology is likely to displace teaching (Chessell, 2106). Hague and Payton contend also that many enthusiasts view technology as significantly more engaging than classroom teachers (2010). At various points of my ETL523 study, I have reflected on such predictions and the evolving role of the teacher and have consolidated my perspective that technology cannot transform learning – teachers can.

In a 2008 blogpost, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach reflected that, “teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those who do not.” Her articulation clarifies that it is not sufficient to simply teach students to use computers; we must support students to develop the breadth of digital citizenship skills needed for their future (Ribble, 2015). It is a position of transformational power and importance and ETL523 has continued my learning pathway about leading this transition.

Through the final assessment, the investigation of digital citizenship in my own school highlighted some important needs. This real-world task to investigate meaningful and productive solutions will now provide my school with possible pathways for necessary progress. However, I have been challenged by one pivotal thought relating to Soraya Arteaga’s position, that ‘outlier’ teachers choose to remain in the classroom, rather than taking promotional roles (2012). As a middle manager in the midst of a multi-dimensional curriculum/welfare/teaching role, I wondered if facilitating and leading the digital citizenship education I now envision is somewhat unachievable in my current circumstances. This has led me to ponder what needs to change to improve my capacity. However, small steps are a good start and my study has provided scaffolded ideas to commence improvements.

ETL523 has provided the impetus to recharge my input and take initiative, work towards being a ‘teacherpreneur’ (Lindsay, 2013), further develop and engage with my PLN connections and to instigate a cohesive and holistic plan to improve my students’ and colleagues’ global digital citizenship skills alongside my own.

References

Arteaga, S. (2012). Self-directed and transforming outlier classroom teachers as global connectors in experiential learning. Walden university. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/1267825419/BD063751849440E5PQ/1?accountid=10344

Chessell, J. (2016, May 18). Daniel susskind and the gradual demise of professional gatekeepers. Financial review. Retrieved from http://www.afr.com/leadership/daniel-susskind-and-the-gradual-demise-of-professional-gatekeepers-20160518-goxmpf#ixzz49p1v994O

Godsey, M. (2015, Mar 25). The deconstruction of the k-12 teacher. The atlantic.  http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/the-deconstruction-of-the-k-12-teacher/388631/

Hague, C. and Payton, S. (2010). Digital literacy across the curriculum (futurelab handbook). Bristol: Futurelab. Retrieved from https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL06/FUTL06_home.cfm

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2012). Chapter 5: Citizenship. In flattening classrooms, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

Lindsay, J. (2013, April 9). Leadership for a global future. Retrieved from e-learning journeys: Innovation, leadership, creativity, collaboration: http://www.julielindsay.net/2013/04/leadership-for-global-future.html

Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008). Letter to my colleagues [blogpost]. 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/blog/2008/06/letter-to-my-co.html

Plenty, L. (2015). INF530 critical reflection [blogpost]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lisa/category/inf530/

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (Third ed.). Eugene, Oregon: International society for technology in education.