In this course, we learned about the nine elements of digital citizenship (Ribble, 2015).

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

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 and model proper digital citizenship to our students daily.

Ergonomics is crucial in promoting healthy habits while using computers.  Have your monitor at the proper eye level, your keyboard placed properly to prevent injuries to your writs, your mouse positioned without creating shoulder strain, your chair adjusted to prevent neck and lower body strain, and the monitor brightness adjusted to not cause eye strain.  Get up and move around occasionally, take necessary breaks to stretch your muscles.  Finally, have real conversations with people instead of being addicted to text messages and social media.

Students should protect their data, passwords, computers, and personal information.  Be kind and thoughtful when posting a thought or a picture.  Would you want someone to be unkind to you?  Know the laws about copyright and properly citing someone else’s intellectual property.  Be extremely careful when shopping online.  Always use secure websites and do your research before purchasing anything online.  Leave a positive digital footprint.  Your online presence will follow you for years to come.  Do you want a prospective employer to see your social media?  Will your grandparents, parents, and friends be offended by what you post?  If so, THINK first, and don’t post offensive or hurtful information.

My biggest accomplishment in this course was trying new online multimedia resources.  I tried PowToon, Quizizz, and am attempting Adobe Spark.  I’m also glad that I learned more about Creative Commons and Net Neutrality.  But, my biggest challenge has been finding the time to read all of the resources and have time to reflect and let them sink in. The assignments were a little difficult at first to know exactly where to submit each section.  I learned that the hard way.

I jumped out of my comfort zone when I created my PowToon assignment and really worked diligently on it to make it my best work so far.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds to purchase the “full access” that has more animations, so I’m limited to use the free version.  I also successfully uploaded it to YouTube without too much difficulty.  Throughout my degree program, I always struggle with my internet connection at home. I’ve definitely learned that I may have to find another internet provider very soon.

I have learned many tips and tricks throughout this program, but I think the main lesson that I learned is to step back from technology and connect with people one-on-one.  That skill is being lost with this generation.  I’ve been fortunate to travel the journey with my daddy and his health issues.  The countless hours spent riding in the car, sitting in waiting rooms, having 8-hour treatments have taught me to just have a conversation.  Sit down and talk, ask questions, laugh, and enjoy life without constantly having your cell phone in your hand.

Throughout this course and the other courses, I’ve developed friendships with people that I have never met in person.  They have given me encouragement, helped me find additional resources, and have made me laugh when I felt like crying.  I also feel validated through our discussion boards seeing that other teachers are facing the same difficulties in the classroom and with administrators.  Sharing the information that I learn in this program with my co-workers is also rewarding.

My suggestions for other students taking this online course is to start reading early, take notes often, connect with others in the classroom, and keep a detailed calendar!  Don’t miss deadlines – and always keep your electronics charged because you never know when the electricity will go out or you might lose a charger!

The only activity that I would change in this course would be to create a voiceover multimedia presentation.  I don’t have the confidence yet to hear my own voice during a presentation.  I literally get so nervous that I’m shaking during the entire recording.  If I could give my script to my little niece and have her record the voiceover, that would be great!

When I talk to my friends and students, I encourage them to continue their education and at least try a few online courses.  My only advice is for them to continue their education as soon as possible and NOT wait until you are over 50 years old.  Also, consciously learn to create a positive digital footprint and develop a mantra both professionally and personally.  Finally, BELIEVE in yourself and be kind.  You never know whose life you are going to change by a kind word, confidence, and a smile.

My mantra:

Always put your kindest foot forward on your digital path.

Here’s a little short quiz that I created.  Try it and let me know what you think.

1. Open in your browser
2. Enter the 6-digit game code 277242 , and click “Proceed”
3. Now enter your name and click “Join Game!”
4. You will get an avatar, and then see a “Start Game” button. Click it to begin!

Digital Citizenship