As I look back on this week, I find myself smiling. I have learned so much! I have always felt digital citizenship to be a crucial component in teaching children, and I even thought I was knowledgeable about the subject area. Acknowledging that I have a lot to learn and that I must analyze resources mindfully is what I take away as the most significant lesson of this first week. Modeling that being a teacher also means being a learner is what Curran (2012) found to be significant in creating a productive and safe learning environment. Since I have learned a good deal of information, I will focus on how it will impact my professional environment.
The area I learned the most about myself was how the nine elements of digital citizenship can be integrated into my school district. It is important to see that all of these elements require each other. They build upon one another and Ribble (2015) recommends a specific progression that I found helpful. I work in a K-6 district and the K-2 focus is seen in etiquette, literacy, and rights & responsibility. I agree with these elements being the foundation. For grades 3-5, the next elements are access, communication, and security. These makes up the majority of my student population, and I believe my district must work on providing our teachers support to prepare our learners properly to become empathetic and knowledgeable digital citizens.
I feel my district is well on our way with some elements, as we are 1:1 with connected devices and our population has wifi access at home at around 98%. Fortunately, we have public transportation to the local County Library that gives access to the students without access in their homes. Communication is one element my district needs to address. We communicate digitally well with parents and colleagues. We even share commentary and work through Google Classroom, SeeSaw, or Twitter. However, I do not feel we are instructing our learners the dangers involved with such programs. We certainly do not talk about cell phones, for they are banned in our classrooms!
Digital literacy is another area I am concerned with. My district does not have computer classes. We entrust all of our homeroom teachers to instill these skills and understandings. This is good when you think of embedding digital citizenship into all curriculum areas, but I know we are lacking in training and support for the lessons. My role in the district is to provide support. Therefore, I will continue to share the resources I am learning about through this course. I intend to share books and digital resources with everyone. Moving forward, I hope to build professional learning opportunities to assist my teachers in creating lessons for their classrooms. As always, the need for reflection will assist in determining the proper lessons and approaches. Moving forward in this course will allow my experience to not only benefit myself, rather my entire community will feel the impact of this rewarding course.
Curran, M. (2012, June). iCitizen: Are you a socially responsible digital citizen. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from icitizen_paper_M_Curran.pdf
Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.