Week two of my journal reflection was my most favorite by far.  The videos and resources were fantastic.  My focus throughout this course is Mike Ribbel’s Digital Health and Wellness.  I attempted to relate the importance of ergonomics as well as maintaining a healthy digital footprint/tattoo while exploring the digital access in my personal life as well as my professional life.  I am continuing to work on my week 5 project and although this project requires a massive amount of reading and comprehending, I am learning so many new things.  Looking back on the past history of technology has been rewarding and fascinating.  Out of all the courses in this DLL program, I feel that I have resources that I can currently apply in my classroom and in my personal life.

Technology absolutely consumes my life and the lives of most of the people in my inner circle.  My cell phone is my alarm clock.  My thermostat is controlled by a motherboard.  My classroom is a computer lab.  My internet is provided via a mifi little black box that I carry around in my purse.  Technology also consumes the lives of my students.  I know that many of my students go home and bury themselves in their cell phones, tablets, and game stations.  Are they getting up and moving around at least once per hour?  I know that eye strain is a health issue when looking at a computer screen or cell phone for hours.   I suffer from neck strain because I don’t have a proper computer station set up at home nor at school.  But, we also must consider other health issues such as addiction to our digital devices.  My students tell me that they are multi-tasking while listening to music and doing their assignments.  I truly think they don’t have the skills necessary in high school to multi-task.  Even though my students have their phones on vibrate or silent, there are still distractions when a new alert pops up on their screen.  When I ask them to power off their device, I truly think they have a chemical reaction in their brain. I can see their wheels turning while I’m speaking to them.  I know they are wondering what they are missing during that fifteen-minute break from their phones.  So, how can they fully concentrate on what I’m teaching?

Leaving a positive digital footprint is necessary for future employment.  Not only for my students but for me as well.  I shared the Common Sense video Oversharing:  Think Before You Post with my classes last week.  They were completely engaged in watching the video (probably because it kept them entertained) and they actually responded with well thought out answers, comments, and questions.  The next day, I asked my students if they knew the definition of net neutrality.  Of course, one student instantly Googled it, but two students defined net neutrality in their own words and were completely correct.  One male student even knew the latest news on the FCC vote.

Another fascinating assignment this week was performing several searches on my complete name.  I was pleased to see nothing negative associated with my name, but I did find interesting information about other women with my name.  I’m concerned about the future of search engines.  I had two students Google Russia yesterday.  Without going into details, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  Even on our restricted network, there were links that I felt were inappropriate for high school students.  I want my students to know how to determine which information is true or false.   I do believe in regulation, but I also want the opportunity to voice my opinion.  I plan to be more vigilant of my digital footprint and leave a positive tattoo throughout my journey.  I will remember that my audience grows daily and I need to ensure that I am not offending anyone with a post.

T – is it TRUE?

H – is it HELPFUL?

I – is it INSPIRING?

N – is it NECESSARY?

K – is it KIND?

As Nicholas Negroponte mentioned in his TEDTalk, are we really going to be able to pop a pill that is full of new information?  Would the pills be prescribed or sold over the counter?  Will they be regulated?  Will the new information override the old information and give me a newer, fresher insight?  I still want the memories of bulky technology so that I can fully appreciate the newer, more efficient technologies that I have the privilege to access.  What if one of my students creates a new technology in 2020?  That’s my ultimate goal, just to inspire and ignite a fire and passion for learning and innovation.

In conclusion, our world is changing at an alarming rate.  We are on information overload most of the day.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle entails many facets of my life.  There should be a time-out zone at work with comfortable furniture, calming atmosphere with no background noise, dimmed lights, and no digital devices allowed!  Take a quick five- or ten-minute break once a day and just imagine how we can be positively affected physically and emotionally.  Let’s put our best digital footprint forward and model the behaviors of digital citizenship in our world.

Here’s my first attempt at a Powtoon animated video.  Unfortunately, my voiceovers just wouldn’t upload.  I’ll figure that out later.


Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future
User: TED – Added: 7/8/14
Oversharing: Think before you post
User: Common Sense Education – Added: 9/4/14

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