Month: May 2016

ETL523 Critical Reflection

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.


Arteaga, S. (2012). Self-directed and transforming outlier classroom teachers as global connectors in experiential learning. Walden university. Retrieved from

Chessell, J. (2016, May 18). Daniel susskind and the gradual demise of professional gatekeepers. Financial review. Retrieved from

Godsey, M. (2015, Mar 25). The deconstruction of the k-12 teacher. The atlantic.

Hague, C. and Payton, S. (2010). Digital literacy across the curriculum (futurelab handbook). Bristol: Futurelab. Retrieved from

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:

Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008). Letter to my colleagues [blogpost]. 21st century learning. Retrieved from

Plenty, L. (2015). INF530 critical reflection [blogpost]. Retrieved from

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


Getting ETL523 back on track


Day 82: Information by Janelle Creative Commons Licence

With an awareness that we are now eleven weeks in to study of ETL523, I am writing this blog post as a commitment to covering more aspects of the unit in the closing weeks than I have managed so far. Excuses? Yes, I have a few legitimate reasons for lagging behind! Term One has been particularly chaotic and challenging, teaching robotics and other unfamiliar content and preparing to leave my work role for others this term while I take time off to recover from surgery on both feet. So the term culminated in finalising my ETL523 assignment and surgery! I am now on the recovery path, literally with feet up and finally not so doped up on painkillers that I am asleep five minutes into commencing reading.

Amongst the chaos, my overall challenge in both my work and study is my management of information. I am not a TL and therefore I am not as fluent with information management as many of my study colleagues and so, I have found that I really benefit from learning from others in this learning community (see my INF530 post for examples, including Nadine Bailey‘s study management ideas).

At the start of this unit, I did not set myself up optimally to engage most effectively with the information flow. Whilst I organised my Evernote to take and organise notes from the modules, I really failed to set up the social component and engage with the blogs and forum posts. I have now set up my RSS (Feedly) to include the blogs of others and may finally get organised enough to read and comment. Whilst I am a reasonably effective Twitter user, I have now reestablished my Tweetdeck to include the ETL523 feed. Hopefully these refinements will help me manage these aspects of my study a little better. These are a couple of small tricks I have used and I encourage others to add comments below about other work process ideas that you find useful to keep sharing the learning.

There is a certain irony in educating today’s students about digital citizenship when many teachers are guilty of making their own faux pas in the digital learning environment. The information overload and the pressures of contemporary teaching often inhibit teachers from being good digital citizens themselves and this is an aspect I want to continue to develop and lead for myself and others. Finding efficient methods and tools to manage information is critical.

For my digital artefact in our recent assignment, I used the Microsoft product, Sway to create a resource evaluating Snapchat for educational use. Sway is a fantastic tool for creating presentations; it is visually appealing and publishable online. The program sources relevant images based on key terms in your text, with a default creative commons image search (which I refined to only search Flickr for its ease of licensing), and the licence is automatically incorporated as an attribution, saving time to manage this important aspect of good digital citizenship. Sway is one example of a Web 2.0 tool that simplifies the work process with inbuilt attributes to practice good digital citizenship. I consider myself a lifelong learner and part of that learning process is the ongoing evolution and refinement of my own processes to manage the information that bombards me and find ways to make the processes easy and streamlined. More to come!

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