Tag Archives: Digital Citizenship

ETL523 – The final pledge

It is always difficult to reflect on a whole course of work at the end, especially one as diverse as Digital Citizenship. So much of what we covered in ETL523, I personally feel, has been embedded across the whole qualification. Without a solid understanding of Digital Citizenship it is almost impossible to work effectively and ethically within an elearning space.

For my work in the VET sector there are some aspects of this course that drive my work, such as the need for greater understanding of copyright and intellectual property. For instance the department where I work is organises the Training Providers Forum in Perth. Last week I was reviewing presentations when I came across a very visually stunning presentation. I was impressed with the quality of images used, and knowing the presenter is a graphic design lecturer others had let the material go through without any checking. I however felt the need to query the use of the images that had no acknowledgements within the presentation. It was a simple email to clear up the issue and the situation was solved, but it was a situation that could have left out department open for legal ramifications.

Litigation is one copyright infringement away.
Litigation is one copyright infringement away.

To me, we as teachers hide behind the CAL license (for education use) and this is fine. However, as educators I need to set the bar high not only for my students but also for myself and not be tempted to limbo under it.

I feel that Hollandsworth, Dowdy, & Donovan (2011) encapsulated my thoughts best on the need for more understanding and solid application of good digital behaviour. Their discussions on us all forming ‘the village’ for our online youth and implementing a curriculum that upholds the need for good digital citizenship and find the middle ground between the reactionary and proactive environments rang a bell in my conscious. Now I know that in the VET sector with the many upheavals that we have been experiencing that our curriculum is strong, we just need to educate the educators.

I strongly believed coming into this course and only have had my beliefs confirmed that digital citizenship is not just something that we teach in schools and forget once a student leave a K-12 environment but must stay with the individual for the rest of their lives. It is about the lifelong skills from the ‘Enlightened digital citizenship’ model (Lindsay & Davis, 2012) such as privacy, respect, etiquette that need to be reinforced in all walks of life.

Digital citizens are aware.
Digital citizens are aware.

Our students, to be able to learn effectively ultimately need to feel secure and safe in any environment that we construct for them. It also needs to support the curriculum outcomes as well as the needs of an individual (P21, 2016).

Recently I have been training a group of students from around Australia in how to facilitate online classes, both synchronous and asynchronous; I wanted to instil the importance of digital citizenship concepts to them. In my first online class I introduced the concept of a ‘Course Code of Conduct’. Instead of my dictating how I expected the class to behave we brainstormed the idea using the whiteboard, microphone/audio and chat box tools. I drafted a version based on what the class decided. I have referred the students back to the document to remind them of their own ‘class rule set’.

The implementation of a digital learning space needs to be safe and owned by the not only faculty but by the students for their use as well as for learning. That is how strong bonds are built and strong support networks through a personal learning network are forged, just like the ETL523 twitter feed or discussion forums, where we (as students) interact and own the space (Lindsay, 2016) alongside Julie – our amazing lecturer.

In closing I would like to leave you with my version of the Digital Australian Citizenship pledge:

1912 Australian Government Commonwealth crest
1912 Australian Government Commonwealth crest.

From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Digital Australia and its digital citizens, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey as a good digital citizen.

So I pledge and so shall it be.



Department of Immigration and Border Protection (2016). Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code. Retrieved from https://www.border.gov.au/Citizenship/Documents/australian-citizenship-ceremonies-code.pdf

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., Donovan, J. (2011). Digital citizenship in K-12: It takes a village. TechTrends. 55(4) 37-47

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the digital rapids. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 12-15.

Lindsay, J. (2016). Professional learning networks [ETL523 Module 3.4]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-767091-dt-content-rid-1699121_1/courses/S-ETL523_201630_W_D/module3/3_4_Professional_learning_networks.html

P21. (2016). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved 13 April 2016, from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Digital Citizenship – the starting point for personal discovery

As a professional presenter for a government agency I must be extremely careful about my digital footprint or digital tattoo (Sullivan, 2013) as it is my reputation that is on the line. What surprises me is that I could be standing in front of a group of professional trainers who work in the VET sector and I ask what they are doing about digital literacy I get the blank looks.

Digital trail
Digital trail Image Y Drager

In almost a whisper I will then ask “How many of you have actually ‘Googled’ yourself to see your digital trail?” The scary part is that most of these educated people have never even considered searching themselves on the internet (Rheingold, 2010).

I guess I could be seen as being in the ‘Worried by the Wayside’ group (Madden, Fox, Smith and Vitak, 2007) mainly as my job as an elearning presenter I must be across a wide variety of technologies. Which means that this increases the potential for issues in the future with my digital footprint.

I am admitting now that whenever I go to post or respond to something I freely self-censor. The internal dialogue that I have will often cause me to stop and reflect. I will ask myself what prospective employers will think, will this reflect badly on my current workplace and will this impact on my family. If I can see I am in the clear then I will post.

Now let me be brutally honest  and say not always have my colleagues put any filter to use. As I write and rewrite this blog post I again pause and reflect on what I am writing, I just can’t help it. Let me ask if you look back on your life (and if you are of a certain age and over) how many of you might have made a telephone call and left messages on an answering machine, then tried to get the tape before the person heard the message? Well imagine that but the tapes never going away, can never be erased and you have the digital tattoo that sticks forever.

Digital Citizenship: It’s More Than a Poster! http://venspired.com/giving-back-day-6-all-about-digital-citizenship/
Digital Citizenship: It’s More Than a Poster!

I  remember at a place a I worked a colleague sent out a site wide email with an embedded joke image which was not appropriate for the workplace. Immediately the colleague recalled the email. However, the recall of Outlook does not necessarily recall the actual email from people it just sends everyone on the sender list a notification that the email has been recalled. What that recall email triggered was a point where everyone at the work site clicked on the email and were horrified en mass.

Access to many media empowers only those who know how to use them (Rheingold, 2010). This truism is important for everyone. Think about it now days if a student or peer makes a gaff it follows as a constant reminder. Being a good digital citizen will not absolve you from your folly, however, it will make you stop and think a little before hitting the post or send button, and that has to be a good thing.



Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 24-25.

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and other 21st century social media literacies. Educause Review 45(5). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/attention-and-other-21st-century-social-media-literacies

Ribble, M. (2016). Nine Elements. digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 5 March 2016, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/

Sullivan, A. (2013). Digital tattoo: Helping students build their digital image [Slideshow]. Retreived from http://www.slideshare.net/adinasullivan/iste-2013-d-igital-tattoo-061613-w-o-movie-24148830

Venspired. Digital Citizenship: It’s More Than a Poster! [Poster]. Retrieved 18 March 2016, from http://venspired.com/giving-back-day-6-all-about-digital-citizenship/