DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP REFLECTION OF THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Kelli BaileyDecember, 2017

December, 2017

Lamar University

EDLD 5316 Digital CitizenshipThe key elements for me in this course were good digital citizenship and leaving a positive digital footprint.  We were asked to create a mantra or brand.  After much reflection, I chose the following as my mantra:  Always put your kindest foot forward on your digital path.  It is not much different than the theme of my e-Portfolio, Moving Forward Through The Digital World.

Ribble (2015) very clearly lays out the nine elements of digital citizenship in schools.  Personally, I think these nine elements should be used throughout our communities, in schools, in public venues, as well as our homes.  The key to ensuring that we are good digital citizens is education.  Being a life-long learner, it is not difficult for me to keep up with the trends in technology, but do I always understand the newest tips, tricks, and techniques?  It is my responsibility to pass along my knowledge to my students, my co-workers, and my family.

According to Lamar’s DLL 5316 course digital citizenship was referred to as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.  Digital health and wellness is a concern in my classroom and throughout my school.  Ergonomics is just as important as digital safety and digital etiquette.  Not only are my students using poor posture while at the computer, they are also wearing earbuds with much blaring so loud that I can hear it from my desk.  Since I teach high school, I have noticed a significant increase in students (and parents) texting while driving.  Students are also in danger walking throughout the campus because they are not watching what they are doing anymore.  This blocks the flow of traffic in the hallways and results in traffic jams and eventually tardies.  Another health issue is student’s addiction to their cell phones.  I try to monitor their use and advise them on how to just focus on the assignment and not worry about what is going on with their cell phones.

I focused on leaving a positive digital footprint in week two of this course.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is necessary for my student’s future employment.  I shared several videos with my students over the past five weeks and I they were actually engaged and interested in the content.  The short two- or three-minute videos were the best because they were short, to the point, entertaining, and upbeat.  I also shared what we’ve learned about net neutrality with my students and I feel that they have a general understanding and will be better equipped when making decisions about internet providers in the future.

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.

Another fascinating assignment was performing searches on my full name.  I was pleasantly surprised that there were no negative results about me personally, but I did uncover some not so pleasant information about another woman with my same name.  The future of search engines is mind-blowing to me.  That is one reason I must teach my students how to determine the difference between real news and information and fake news and data.

Week three focused on copyrights and copywrongs.  Copyright law isn’t a favorite of mine, any type of law isn’t a favorite.  I feel I learned a little more than I can comprehend.  I am definitely more aware and conscientious about how and where I will access and share information with my students.  Through our discussion boards and great conversations with my cohorts, I feel like I’ve added more resources to this week’s reflection than any other week.  A new resource for me to use with my students is plagiarism.org.

I plan to incorporate proper citations in my classroom by using the various resources we have gathered in this course.  I must first model the process in my classroom, then praise students when they cite properly, and finally assist those who need a gentle push.  One idea that I’m going to try is to get a list of the approved resources that we can use in our district.

One of my favorite web conferences is where we were introduced to Dash Notes.   I can see where high school students can benefit from this practice.  Bulleted items instead of copying and pasting from the internet will be a new concept to some of my students.  Again, I plan to model how to create dash notes, then create an assignment for my students to practice.  Finally, I will bookmark all of these references and insist that my students do the same.

Week four’s reflection focused on the various aspects and outcomes of cyberbullying.  My definition of cyberbullying is a person who is aggressive and intentionally posts something online that is intentionally offensive.  This is not just a one time post because teens of say offensive things to others, but it is a behavior that is repeated multiple times with the intent to harm the victim either emotionally or physically.  Any type of bullying can lead to violence and violent behaviors.  The victim is truly in fear of the control that the bully has in the “relationship”.

Learning how to spot the behaviors of both the victim and the bully has changed with the introduction of social media.  As a teacher, I could spot the bullies on the playground and in the classroom.  Now, I hear about the cyberbullying straight from the students.  Through my research, I’ve also learned that girls are more often cyberbullied than boys.

Teens use social media as a platform to share pictures, ideas, life events, and social activities. They use this platform as a means to fit in with the regular crowd.  They feel “liked” or popular by how many comments and likes they receive.  Most teens don’t abuse this privilege.  But some may be vulnerable to cyberbullying by posting a picture of themselves as an innocent post.  Then a bully will post something cruel and hateful which leads to a downward spiral for the victim.  Unfortunately, by posting inappropriate pictures and comments, these students are leaving a negative digital footprint.

I enjoyed this week’s TedTalk by Monica Lewinski.  She was very up-front and honest about her feelings and her mistakes.  But, she managed to rise above the “shame game” by creating a new outcome for her life.  We can all create a different ending to your story by THINKING before posting, speaking, blogging, etc.  Honestly, the only thing we can do for others is to offer sincere compassion to those who have been shamed.  Also, don’t perpetuate the shame with rude or mean comments and remarks.  The “shame game” can turn into a physical ailment and emotional issues for the victim.  I added these additional resources in week four:

www.cyberbullying.us, http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_8y0WLm78U

My biggest accomplishment in this course was trying new online multimedia resources.  I tried PowToon, created a Quizizz online test on digital citizenship, and eventually created my final presentation in Adobe Spark.  I chose Adobe Spark because I want to learn more about the Adobe products that I teach in my graphic design classes.  Although I was unable to upload my Adobe Spark presentation to my YouTube channel, I was able to create a link that can be viewed as public.  I plan to design a lesson for my students on digital citizenship and have them create a similar presentation in Adobe Spark.

I am 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, but I think I finally learned a more productive method in submitting my assignments.  This is going to be beneficial to me very soon because my district recently purchased Blackboard for our district.  I have been asked to speak at a board meeting to introduce Blackboard to our administrators, community, and school board members.

My final resources that I have used to prepare for this final project are:  Other new resources that I will use in my classroom are:  Creative Commons, bensound.com, pixabay.com, photosforclass.com, and unsplash.com.

Digital Citizenship Adobe Spark Presentation

References

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2015). Developing a positive school climate: Top ten tips to prevent bullying and cyberbullying. Cyberbullying Research Center. Hinduja_Patchin_School-Climate-Top-Ten-Tips-To-Prevent-Cyberbullying.pdf

Ribble, M. (2014) Essential elements of digital citizenship. Retrieved from https:// http://www.iste.org/explore/ArticleDetail?articleid=101