This course is one of the key stones of the entire master’s degree for me as it has reminded me of the importance of recognising and acknowledging the role that technology plays in our lives (which was highlighted even more while we were in lockdown during Covid-19) and the need for students to understand how to use technology responsibly and ethically in the digital world of the future. I agree with Christy Roe’s comment (Roe, 2020) about being hopeful that the course would provide the skills and knowledge to lead the school to develop an improved digital learning environment (DLE).
I really enjoyed the opportunity in the course to experiment with creating and using new technologies to create digital artefacts. I will certainly use this new knowledge to create digital artefacts for the school and feel empowered to encourage staff and students to engage with these digital tools and resources on the school library website as they will be available 24/7. I designed resources around referencing, copyright and plagiarism which are well suited to learning in a digital format that I think will appeal to students and hopefully encourage and promote their use of these artefacts. Working in a group to complete this assignment was interesting and made me reflect on how working in groups is organised for students at school. As I wrote in my blog at the time, (O’Rourke, 2020) there are many variables that make up a group when collaborating and although my group achieved its goals, we floundered at the beginning due to difficulties with establishing a common goal. Collaboration is one of the key skills that students need in order to engage successfully in the changing world and these difficulties encountered by my group really made me consider what I could put in place to facilitate students’ working this way.
I had never really thought about the DLE and completing the assessment made me scrutinise my school environment to realise that there are many areas that need problem solving and troubleshooting. Feneck comments on the need for schools to work together using policies and procedures to establish a whole school approach to manage a DLE (Feneck, 2020). I realise that in order to upgrade and bring attention to some of the deficiencies in the provision of technology at the school, I need to form alliances with members of staff to represent a consolidated approach to improving our digital assets and providing solutions to ongoing technical problems. Lester refers to the importance of all teachers being on board with teaching the important elements of digital citizenship, (Lester, 2020). One of the issues that has become clear from this course, is the proficiency of teachers using technology. Edmonds makes a very apt comment in the forum about teachers being confident with technology before they can really engage with digital citizenship education and also the need to collaborate and support each other to implement a successful program (Edmonds, 2020). As the teacher librarian in the school, I have the support of my line manager (who is an ex librarian) to create programs and work with teachers to implement or integrate aspects of digital citizenship into their programs but the broader executive has shown little interest in this area and are yet to be persuaded! I appreciate the comment made by Cunningham (2020, 1 May) regarding integration versus implementation as a model of teaching digital citizenship as she reminds us that whatever the model, digital technology requires constant maintenance and updating.
I am building relationships with teachers by supporting them with resources and team teaching which gives me the opportunity to discuss digital citizenship teaching and therefore reinforce the importance of students understanding their digital roles and responsibilities. These relationships will assist in making a case for forming an IT committee and persuade more teachers that our uneven internet access and problematic technology in the classroom can be improved through consultation, collaboration and planning.
Cunningham, A. (2020, May 1). Creating a digital citizenship program. [Online discussion comment]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au
Edmonds, H. (2020, March 9). Digital citizenship for educators. [Online discussion comment]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au
Feneck, E. (2020, March 27). Designing the Digital Learning Environment. [Online discussion comment]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au
Lester, K. (2020, March 16). Digital citizenship for students. [Online discussion comment]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au
O’Rourke, J. (2020, April 24). Group work reflection. Judyo54blog. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/judyo54/
Roe, C. (2020, April 1). Designing the Digital Learning Environment. [Online discussion comment]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au