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#DCMOOC Week 1 Post: Wanting More & Less

No doubt you have heard of the expression less is more.

Funny thing is … when you surf the net for information on digital citizenship you immediately come across the 9 elements of digital citizenship. Is it just me or is this number too high? No, I don’t want to debate which elements should stay or go … but when I think of creating a user-friendly yet effective digital citizenship policy I find the sheer scope and sequence of digital citizenship overwhelming!

(Aside: I explored how to own your digital footprints in 10 steps on my EdTech Learning Log. These 10 steps seem too much for adults never mind students?!)

Hence my foray into this MOOC. I am interested in digital citizenship and policy building (as it applies to students). High school students need a policy that is straightforward and user-friendly. How do I get my students to understand their rights and responsibilities as it applies to digital citizenship without sounding old fashioned or preachy or curmudgeonly? How do I get them to think and behave ethically in my classroom and beyond?

Furthermore, as I explored various publications to prep for this post, I came across this list of interesting facts. According to Livingstone & Haddon’s (2011) research:

• Only 36% of children aged 9 to 16 perceived that it
was very true that they knew more about the Internet
than their parents;
• 66% of children aged 9 to 10 say it is not true that
they know more about the Internet than their parents;
• 37% of students did not have the skills associated
with finding safety information online;
• 36% of students were unable to bookmark a website;
• Nearly 50% could not change privacy settings on a
social networking profile; and
• Over 50% were unable to block spam (p. 25).

Students are often referred to as digital natives yet based on the facts listed above we can clearly see that students are seriously lacking some basic digital skills!

So … what comes next?

How do we create responsible and active digital citizens? Obviously digital literacy is important … as an ELA teacher we are often expected to weave this into our already jampacked curriculums …

Which brings me to my second reason for joining this MOOC … I hope to explore the following questions: Is being a good role model and guide enough? Are my expectations in my classes enough? If not, how do I get other teachers to join the good fight? Many teachers simply want to ban cellphones and tablets in schools … but taking a step like this doesn’t educate students on proper use (moral or otherwise). This makes me feel like I am an island unto myself.

Hopefully … once this MOOC is done … I will feel more confident about what digital citizenship should look like in my classroom … especially when it comes to developing a policy and/or helping students become responsible and active digital citizens.

References

Barker, N. (2013, September 29). How to Own Your Digital Footprint in 10 Steps. EDTECH Learning Log [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://blog4itech.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/how-to-own-your-digital-footprint-in-10-steps/

School Technology Branch (2012). Digital citizenship policy development guide. Retrieved from Alberta Education website: http://education.alberta.ca/media/6735100/digital%20citizenship%20policy%20development%20guide.pdf

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