Digital Citizenship

ETL523 – Final Reflection

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.

Digital & Media Literacy chart

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

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

     Media Smarts. (2016). The Intersection of Digital and Media Literacy. Retrieved from

     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



ETL523 – Social media – more than trolling

It has come to my attention that simply following the social media interactions of those whose work I admire, and pinning, liking and occasionally responding, is not really adding sufficient value to my professional digital footprint.

A couple of years ago, I was rather pleased with myself and with the digital tattoo (since it is relatively permanent) that I had created. My digital accounts included:

  • Facebook (personal and professional accounts)
  • LinkdIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Diigo
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • a TL Ning
  • Libguides
  • a Blog
  • and in recent weeks I discovered several accounts that I had forgotten were created, because they were only used a handful of times – Scoopit, Tumblr, Wikispaces, to name just a few.

This got me thinking…my digital portfolio fell by the wayside as a result of a move from Education Queensland to private education, other than some simple updates in LinkdIn. As a ‘good’ digital citizen, it seems necessary to maintain a current and relevant digital portfolio in the Cloud. (Several burglaries have forced me to acknowledge the risk of having CVs etc on a device that can be stolen.)

When working with teachers and senior secondary students, how practical and useful would it be if we collaborated to:

  • build and update our digital portfolios annually together?
  • keep track of our digital accounts withinin our portfolios?
  • and create an ‘About Me’ cover page?

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.05.42 PMCouros, (2016, March 23).

How wonderfully applicable and real world for students to leave school, not only with these wonderful tools ready to be added to, but to have seen how their teachers have worked to keep their own digital portfolios up to date! From a leadership perspective, teachers and students would be able to learn from each other, as teachers have the opportunity to see what tools their students are using and consider adding these new tools to their portfolio, while demonstrating the development of a working portfolio.

And if teachers and students are working together to create and update their portfolios, build their brand and identify how they want to present themselves, they can have conversations about how digital citizenship is really global citizenship –

  • that our digital presence is simply another aspect of who we are and how we wish to be seen by others, not separate;
  • that our behaviour online and in person should uphold the same values and ethics irrespective of the environment that we find ourselves in;
  • and that we can change any negative impressions from our youth, by creating a multitude of positive footprints/tattoos that outweigh the one or two faux pas.

Richardson (2016, February 16) quotes Baumann’s statement that we belong to a community, but create a network, thus giving us a sense of control. He goes further:

But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face.” 

So perhaps as educators, this is our challenge… to demonstrate to our students and each other, that we can and deserve to use social media to unite with our tribe or tribes, to broaden our horizons and become the change that we wish to see in the world, by continually growing our global citizenship skills, in person and online.


Couros, G. (2016, March 31). Crucial digital citizenship conversations. Retrieved on March 31, 2016 from

Richardson, W. (2016, February 16). social media are a trap. Retrieved on April 2, 2016 from



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