Education is always evolving organically. We have come a long way from writing on papyrus to using personal learning devices. The use of iPad, graphing calculators and mobile devices in a classroom is a norm. Virtual schools are becoming a viable alternative to brick and mortar Schools. As a result of these changes in instructional delivery, the educators must keep honing their skills to teach net savvy students. In addition to having content mastery and good classroom management skills, we must be an exemplary digital citizen and be prepared to deliver the instruction in online environment.
When I read the above precept, I knew that I can’t be sitting on my laurels; I must continue to equip myself with knowledge so I can serve my students and bring my A-game to classroom. My quest to become a Proficient Instructor lead me to the Effective Online teaching course designed by Georgia Virtual Learning and offered by GA Department of Education. This course is designed to challenge educators to step out of their comfort zone & act as students. By exploration, research & implementation, I am required to learn, to adapt & to apply the knowledge learned in this class in my own classroom. Just like students in our classes, while mastering the content of the course, I will be earning badges as a result of my exploration & achievement in the course. These badges are:
Come & join me in my journey of being on other side of the desk, becoming a student once again.
If you choose to use any of my content for your blog or use, please make sure to give the credit to me & link to my post.
Thanks. Yours in Learning,
Georgia Professional Learning Quest image source: http://www.openteachertraining.org/
The goal of this assignment is to share 3 most impressive character traits of exemplary digital citizenship (EDC) & share what makes each of these characteristics worthy of recognizing & emulating.
Please note that when possible, I have used gender neutral pronoun they instead of he or she.
Online Learning is no longer a novelty. In today’s classroom where flip learning, hybrid education and connected learning is a norm, a teacher must be prepared to guide their students in the intricacy of navigating the beauty and perils of digital education. First step of delving into the digital world is to know what it means to become an exemplary digital citizen (EDC). Let us briefly review characteristics of an EDC.
A digital community is one where participants interact with each other online. A class blog, Google Doc, Social Media sites, email correspondence with a colleague and cross-continent collaboration using internet are some of the examples of digital communities. Each person who uses electronic media within a community is a digital citizen. By practicing digital citizenship, one can communicate, navigate, and prosper in the digital world. Dr. Mark Ribble identifies overarching characteristics of digital citizenship as respect, educate & communicate and protect. He further breaks down these characteristics into nine elements. For a digital community to thrive, its citizens must conduct themselves as good neighbors. Just like in the real world, the virtual world has both exemplary citizens as well as online bullies, hecklers and hackers, identity thieves and others with malicious intent. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center shows that 80% of teens using social media have seen someone being cruel or mean to another. I visited edublogger, Common Sense Media and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for teachers to get more information of digital citizenship. Based on these and other sites, I came up with these three characteristics for exemplary digital citizen..
EDCExercisesKindness, Self-respect & Respect for Diversity.
EDCHas a ThirstforKnowledge & Sharing.
EDCHonorsLaws, Rules & Norms.
Kindness and self-respect goes hand in hand. If each of us follow a 4-way test adopted by Rotarians, the community will become more harmonious; we will decrease instances of online bullying, gossiping and their aftereffects. Before posting, sharing or selling anything online we should ask the following four questions and proceed only if the answer is yes to all.
A self-respecting individual will always strive to do best for self and others. They will make ethical decisions and will be transparent while interacting with others. Having a healthy self-respect will also help a person become more cognizant of other’s feelings, culture & beliefs. e.g. While working on a collaborative project, my Jewish colleague is not available on the weekend. Being an EDC, rather than getting upset for delaying the project, I will respect his belief in Sabbath and work around his availability. Similarly, when my child does not return a text message immediately while hanging out with friends, I will remember that they are having fun and does not mean any disrespect towards me. Obviously, I will check on them if I do not hear back within a reasonable amount of time to make sure they are okay. In current political climate, being cognizant is crucial to carry out the discourse and stop hatred from spreading.
Having a thirst for knowledge and the enthusiasm to sharethe knowledge is what makes me a Mom, an educator & life-long learner. I am also one of the people who reads the terms and conditions for an account before checking the “I accept” box. By knowing my rights and responsibilities, I can make sure that I do not tread on anyone’s toes and do not come to harm or harm others. Since technology is changing rapidly, continuing education and self-reflection are a must in the EDC’s toolbox. These tools will allow an EDC to keep abreast of technology and help out his students/family & self while facilitating knowledge sharing. Please take a moment to view the You tube video Students thoughts on Digital Rights & Responsibilities. The video was made by office the Children’s eSafety Commissioner in Australia
An EDC knows and abides by digital laws, rules and norms of the vast digital community. They knows that piracy issues and giving proper credit when due are equally true in both the digital and virtual worlds. While working online one needs to protect themselves as well as others. An EDC is protecting self, devices and community against hackers by taking steps such as not leaving computer open, having good passwords, installing and updating anti-virus programs on devices and reading the fine print before clicking “I accept”. Often people hide behind anonymity of the net to harass, heckle and harm others. While not engaging in every little skirmish, an EDC will stand up against wrongdoing(s) by reporting an unethical use, bullying and malware. An EDC will adhere to the Roatarian’s pledge and teach their students for check for legal aspect of social media posts. They will promote following message found in many of the classrooms.
T – Is it True?
H – Is it Helpful or Hurtful?
I – is it Illegal?
N – Is it Necessary?
K – Is it Kind?
I hope that you learned along with me while reading this post & reviewing my PPT presentation. Feel free to use anything from the post/presentation. Just remember to be an exemplary digital citizen and give the proper credits. Happy learning & teaching.
I am writing this post as a reflection on Participate module of Georgia Online Professional Leaning course.
Being a student centered, connected educator is a process- an ongoing journey where one need to act, stop, reflect, modify the course and repeat as necessary. Having taught in hybrid classrooms, I am not a stark newcomer to online education. On the other hand, I am not a digital native either. My journey as an online educator is in its nascent stage. As such, I would like to follow my own advice:
At this stage, I am listening, learning, observing and collaborating.
I am adding to my tool box by being a student again. e.g., enrollment in Georgia Online Professional Learning Course and Edublogs Teacher Challenges.
The Participate Module has taught me that ideal digital learning communities (Ideal DLC) are not created in a vacuum. It requires:
What have participate module taught me about empowering students?
Let us look at my blog posts for the module and my resources to answer this: First, we need to talk about Netiquette and how rules of real world applies to digital world as well.
Next, We should discuss digital safety and security. We will use this poster to talk about need for precaution, steps to take against cyber bullying and digital vigilance.
Acceptable use policy, joining a reputable DLC and collecting reputable digital resources goes hand in hand. Students can use the symbaloo to bookmark their web searches and use them later. At this time, we will discuss giving credit when credit is due, creative commons and attributions and checking the resources.
Besides being an empathetic educator who practices being firm & fair, leveling the playing field for my students and getting to know them, I am planning to use strategies similar to Mr. Hodgson to entice the students to learn.
After reviewing Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) , I am more aware of making sure that I need to make the material (s) I create for my students meets the principles of accessibility guidelines: Content should be perceivable, clear and understandable; I should make sure to have assistive technology available so the students can have access to the material using all senses and they may access material (Operable & Robust). I used to have funky fonts and layouts. Now, I tried to stay with fonts such as Vardana, good color scheme (No lime green text if possible) to aid my visually impaired student, so they can read the material without straining their eyes.
What have I learned that I want to pass on from Participate module to my students & peers?