Wrapping Up Digital Citizenship

Jason Ohler explains why it is important to develop a mantra, motto or brand to describe digital citizenship.
My digital citizenship mantra.
My digital citizenship multi media presentation
 Dr. Devorah Heitner, the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World
delivers a TED Talk about the challenges and solutions associated with raising children in a digital world.  She is also the founder and director of Raising Digital Natives, a resource for parents and schools seeking to help children thrive in the digital world.

Week 5 Reflection: 

 

     I have to admit that I initially thought the 5316 digital citizenship course would be a nice, easy way to wrap up the DLL program.  I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG!  This course has probably been one of the toughest courses in the program so far. So, perhaps I need to reflect on why I thought it would be easy. I think the answer lies in the amount of attention digital citizenship has been given in the two districts I have worked. In both cases, it has been more of an afterthought, viewed as a way to tick off another of the many district requirements. The isolated lessons have typically been squeezed in at the end of the month and never really connected to anything else students are doing or learning in the classroom or the real world. Another reason that I may have underestimated this course is that digital citizenship is a fairly new concept in my life. Even though my job requires me to know and share digital citizenship lessons with others and I personally spend a large part of my day on a digital device, I wrongly assumed that my age (of which we won’t mention) made digital citizenship a low priority if my everyday life. Wrong again!  Age and profession have little to do with the need for learning about digital citizenship. This course has reminded me that anyone that spends any amount of time online should educate and protect themselves with knowledge and learn how to be a responsible member of a digital world.

      I without a doubt did learn a lot throughout this course. Although there was nothing in the course that I had never heard of, I did gain new understanding from several of the topics.  One of the things that registered with me is the information about net neutrality. This is one of those topics that you think you know about simply because you have heard about it and read it in the headlines.  However, I discovered that my knowledge of the topic would not have gotten me very far in an argument. Basically, the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality law boils down to three restrictions on broadband providers designed to preserve an open internet.  These include no blocking of legal content, no throttling (slowing down) broadband service, and no paying for faster service (Reardon, 2015). I also learned how net neutrality impacts public education and other nonprofit organizations. Of course, as is the case with other government decisions, net neutrality continues to be debated.  This was especially true after the FCC rolled back much of the 2015 regulations, citing that innovation and investment had been stifled due to the rigorous regulations put on broadband providers (Reardon, 2017). When everything is said and done, it seems that money played a large part in the decision to reverse net neutrality regulations. Another topic that I knew surprisingly little about was how creative commons works.  Specifically the meaning of the creative commons icons. Again, I see them all the time, therefore I assumed that I knew what they meant. However, knowing the meanings of the various license and the icons that represent those levels will allow me to be more selective and knowledgeable about how I use creative content. I also plan to design a creative commons unit to share some of what I have learned with other teachers and students.  ("Licensing types - Creative Commons", n.d.).

      My biggest accomplishment during this course was rebounding from week 3 on copyright law. I had the worst attitude following the week of copyright law and I really considered just cruising through to the end in a way the demonstrated my frustrations and lack of concern. However, regrouped, rearranged and added to my eportfolio and felt pretty good about it by the end of week 4. Along those same lines, my greatest challenge was definitely copyright law week. I had a bit of a meltdown when I saw the amount of reading required for that week.  Not only was it a topic that I was unfamiliar with, but the technical style of some of the articles caused my tired brain to go into shut down mode. I think my best work for this course surprisingly came out in my reflections at the end of each week. Although I seemed to always dread writing them, they allowed me to combine the cognitive and emotional effects from the week’s learning into one cohesive thought. I think this is important due to the fast-paced nature of the course. The coursework for this course has caused me to view digital citizenship in a more serious manner. I feel that I am better prepared to defend the necessity and importance of teaching students and teachers about digital citizenship in a more meaningful way.  

I think the most valuable insight gained from this course is that it raised my overall awareness of the importance of digital citizenship in my personal life, my professional life and the lives of the students and teachers that I serve daily. I think this course has helped me grow as an educational leader by demonstrating how important it is to continue learning even when you think you know something. A leader must be a learner and there is danger in assuming you can’t learn anything new about a topic for which you think you are an expert. I hope to avoid this pitfall in both my professional and personal life.  My favorite part of the course was creating the Adobe Spark digital citizenship video this week. I have always loved using Spark Video to create meaningful messages and this week’s video creation was no exception. It is an enjoyable way to synthesize information while infusing creativity, which is exactly why I also like to use it with students.

     If someone I knew planned to take this course, I probably wouldn’t tell them about the rigorous nature of the coursework. I thought long and hard about whether or not I would want to know about the workload ahead of time or not, and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to know. I think I would have worried about it and made matters even worse. So, I probably would just tell them to buckle down, clear their calendars and prepare for some sleepless nights.  I would also be sure to tell them that they will go away with valuable information that will benefit them personally and the lives of their students. If I could change one of the activities that I did for this course I probably would not have experimented with a new, unfamiliar animated video making tool for my presentation in week 2. I love to learn how to use new tools, but the workload and fast-paced nature of this course didn’t leave a lot of extra time to learn to use a new platform.  My finished product wasn’t all that great because too much time was spent on figuring out how to use Animaker. I did, however, learn that I do not necessarily like Animaker and will not be renewing my monthly subscription after this month.
     So overall this course would get a yellow caution light from me to anyone asking about it.  I would caution anyone that I know to not take this course lightly and prepare for a rigorous workload, but to also keep an open mind and expect to learn useful information that can be used professionally and personally.  


References:

 

Reardon, M. (2015). 13 Things you need to know about the FCC’s net neutrality regulation. Retrieved from

http://www.cnet.com/news/13-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-fccs-net-neutrality-regulation/

 

Reardon, M. (2017). What you need to know about the FCC's net neutrality repeal. Retrieved from

https://www.cnet.com/news/fcc-net-neutrality-repeal-ajit-pai-what-you-need-to-know/

 

Licensing types - Creative Commons. Retrieved from

https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/