The main focus of this week’s assignment was to define Digital Citizenship and identify the nine elements of Digital Citizenship.   According to Lamar’s DLL 5316 course, digital citizenship will be referred to as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.  I think there is a fine line between citizenship and digital citizenship.  Not all people in a community are model citizens, but we work together to make our communities better.  We still have thieves, murderers, and sex offenders that live in our community.  Although law enforcement protects us in theory, we still need to remain diligent and protect ourselves first.  The same is true for digital citizenship.  We must learn to recognize what is bad and not cross that line.  As teachers, we should educate our students the difference between good citizenship and bad citizenship – whether it is citizenship or digital citizenship.

Digital health and wellness is also a concern in my classroom and throughout our school.  My concerns are in no particular order, but all need to be addressed in school.  One health issue I witness hourly at school is earbuds.  If I can hear your music halfway down the hallway, your volume is too loud and you’re going to blow out your eardrums by the time you are 19.  When I allow students to listen to music while working, I insist that they only have one earbud in their ear.  Then, if I can hear their music, I give them a warning to turn it down.  Let me go back to walking down the hallway.  Students are too busy looking at their cell phones that they run into a door, another student, a teacher, etc.  This also blocks the flow of traffic in the hallways.

Another health issue is the addiction to cell phones.  They are a huge distraction both at school and at work.  I have several employers asking me to “teach” my students how to be more responsible at work and stay off of their cell phones.  I truly think I have students who are completely addicted to their cell phones and have no other life.  One of my students brings THREE to class every single day.  I try to model proper cell phone etiquette each period.  I hold up my phone to check the time, I remind them to put their phones on silent, then I put my phone facedown on my desk and ask them to do the same thing.  You would be amazed at how many phones I hear vibrate each hour.  Needless to say, the art of typing with the correct fingers is lost.  My students can text faster than I can type – and I can type 100 wpm with less than 5% error.  Finally, I’ve noticed my vision has rapidly deteriorated over the last few years.  I know that age is a factor, but I do believe the hours that I stare at my computer screen each day has taken it’s toll on my eyesight.  I finally received a larger monitor, but my computer just sits on a regular teacher desk.  There’s not enough money in the budget to purchase a “real” computer work station.

My goal to correct some of the ergonomic problems in my classroom is to have computer work stations and chairs for my students.  Once the technology budget is up for review, I can then submit my suggestions.

The nine elements of Ribbel’s (2015) Digital Citizenship are:

  • Digital access
  • Digital commerce
  • Digital communication
  • Digital literacy
  • Digital etiquette
  • Digital law
  • Digital rights and responsibilities
  • Digital health and wellness
  • Digital security

I really like the way that Ribble not only connects the elements into categories, but he also associates the elements with REPs (Respect, Educate, and Protect).  It always helps me to remember concepts with an acronym.  His resource for REP is:  http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html.

Of the nine categories of digital citizenship, the two that are most important to my class are digital literacy and digital health and wellness.  Although my students are quite savvy with their electronic devices, they are only keeping up with the technology that interests them the most.  Most students spend more time on social media, texting, watching videos, and playing games than actually learning the wealth of information that they have at their fingertips.

I took a class in college years ago – probably Office Management – where we learned about ergonomics.  I’ve stressed the importance of proper posture while at the computer.  Have you heard of text neck?  I think our students need a few lessons on text neck.  They are constantly looking down at their phones.

Speaking of ergonomics, I attended the Adobe Academy at the TCEA headquarters in Austin.  I was given a tour of the offices.  One of the technicians had the most ergonomically correct work station that I’ve ever seen.  He was standing!  What a great idea to keep our students up and moving, but the expense would be enormous in my computer lab.

My favorite resource is Mike Ribble’s website:

http://www.digitalcitizenshhip.net/Home_Page.html

Another resource is Ohler (2010) discussing citizenship and the requirements necessary to be a member of a digital community.  I feel that we must educate our students, parents, and communities on the evolving of technology and the effect that it will have on our future.  Always just remember to be responsible face-to-face and online.  Model kindness and responsibility to our students, our family, our friends, and neighbors both virtually and face-to-face.  We must remember that our students come from various backgrounds and may not have the opportunity to see kindness in their worlds.  Teaching our students to do the right thing is probably the most rewarding aspect of my job.

 

Resources:

Ohler, J. (2010). Digital community: Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.