ETL523 has been a most challenging unit, in part because the demands of a new job have seriously eroded time available for study; but more because ETL523 has raised a multitude of questions about my own digital literacy and that of my colleagues. This is intriguing, as when the subject commenced, I was under the illusion that the study of Digital Citizenship was for the benefit of my students…that Digital citizenship and Digital literacy were skills that needed to be learned by our students, and that teachers and teacher-librarians innately had the required knowledge and understanding.
Assignment 1 drove my research to consider the Digital Literacy needs of my particular school, and the role of leadership in moving towards our goals. It soon became evident that it was the Digital Literacy needs of myself and my colleagues that needed to form the foundation of our research. After all, how do we teach our students about that which we have little knowledge or experience ourselves? How much experience do we each have with social media; or determining the value of a source; or managing our digital footprint; or building a digital portfolio? Collectively, our answer was…not much!
So my fellow ETL students and I struggled through our respective personal challenges, including distance, multiple time zones and all the other challenging aspects of digital collaborative group work, to develop a wiki about what we teachers needed to know about becoming digital citizens. My artefact addressed a personal and professional need to create an ePortfolio to identify strengths and weaknesses/gaps in my own digital skill set. This artefact is now being used by a small group of teachers and my teacher-librarians to demonstrate to others, the usefulness of developing an ePortfolio.
However the journey did not end there. Assignment 2 once again began with my attempting to identify how we could better support student Digital Citizenship through our library program, only to be blown away (a considerable way into the planning stage, and thus setting my study schedule way behind) by the realisation that once again, what we really needed was Teacher Professional Development, before we could develop a school wide culture of digital citizenship and digital literacy.
And while the task seems almost impossible, the many comments and blogs of my peers show they share the very same concerns, and it is reassuring to know that while we may be late majority uptakers of technology (Moore, 1962), compared to some schools; we are not alone on this journey.
The current expectations where I work are that all things IT skills, Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy can be taught by the teacher-librarians in one isolated lesson a week, between Years 5-9, after which such instruction is no longer needed. (Feel free to read a level of disbelief and even some sarcasm in the tone of that sentence!) Of course, this is an impossible task and the recommendations in Assignment 2 to:
- provide ongoing professional learning in order to truly teach with ICT (Albion, P.R., Tondeur, J., Forkosh-Baruch, A. & Peeraer, J. 2015),
- using highly effective principles of professional learning (DETV, 2005),
- to incorporate the TPACK model (Baran & Uygun, 2016; Ng, Miao & Lee, 2009),
- to support and grow our learning and curriculum design, have provided us with a set of steps in a positive direction.
The image below (Media Smarts, 2062) demonstrates the diversity and challenge of the task at hand, however the research and tools uncovered through this unit of study have provided a guiding light to keep us moving in a direction of improved and sustained growth and understanding.
I am pleased to see the end of the workload that is ETL523, yet am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be part of this gargantuan learning experience. My most valuable lesson from ETL523 is that I need to hone the skill of writing proposals and recommendations.
Albion, P.R., Tondeur, J., Forkosh-Baruch, A. & Peeraer, J. (2015). Teachers’ professional development for ICT integration: Towards a reciprocal relationship between research and practice. Educ Inf Technol. Springer Science+Business Media: New York. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/article/10.1007/s10639-015-9401-9
Baran, E. & Uygun, E. (2016). Putting technological, pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) in action: An integrated TPACK-design-based learning (DBL) approach. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology: 32(2) pp. 47-63. Middle East Technical University: Turkey. Retrieved on May 18 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/mouse-design-based_learning_DBL_approach
Media Smarts. (2016). The Intersection of Digital and Media Literacy. Retrieved from http://mediasmarts.ca/digital-media-literacy/general-information/digital-media-literacy-fundamentals/intersection-digital-media-literacy
Ng, W., Miao, F. and Lee, M. (2009). Capacity-building for ICT integration in education. Digital review of Asia Pacific 2009-2010. Retrieved on May 28, 2016 from http://www.digital-review.org/uploads/files/pdf/2009-2010/capacity_building.pdf