Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A reflection of Mike Ribble's blog post - Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship

Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship

Today I am reading Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship by Mike Ribble
Thank you to Angela for sharing this with our team. 

1.   Digital Access:  full electronic participation in society. 

I have a new phrase today – digital exclusion!  I have never heard this phrase before and think it is definitely worth unpacking! 

“Working toward equal digital rights and supporting electronic access is the starting point of Digital Citizenship. Digital exclusion makes it difficult to grow as a society increasingly using these tools.”

I wonder how often our learners are experiencing digital exclusion? 
I wonder if we are supporting or hampering digital exclusion with our push towards BYOD in many areas throughout New Zealand?
I wonder if we are taking into account our learners digital exclusion outside the classroom?
Do we consider that ‘internet access’ at home may in fact be Mum’s or Dad’s phone data which our eludes our learners?
Are we considering this with our online home learning, or our flipped classroom models?

2.   Digital Commerce:  electronic buying and selling of goods. 
How are we supporting our colleagues and learners to become “effective consumers in a new digital economy”?
What role do we have in modeling and educating around purchasing, downloading, sharing? 
Are we always abiding by the rules?

3.   Digital Communication:  electronic exchange of information. 
What a challenge we are faced with when we have a smorgasbord of opportunities for communication online. 
How do we empower our learners to communicate in appropriate ways?  Do we refuse to accept txt language in class?  Do we support and encourage the use of # in some online forums?  Do we teach multiple ways of communicating?  Do we still value and include multitudes of opportunities for pen and paper transactions?  Do we use skype or Google Hangout to communicate with experts nationally and globally?

4.   Digital Literacy:  process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology. 
Information literacy skills must be taught. We are living in a world of info-whelm where it would be increasingly possible to get lost in the sheer volume of information available to us.  We must actively engage in sessions with our learners to ensure we are all developing our search skills, our focus, and our dedication to sift. 
How are we doing this with our learners?
What specific skills do our learners need?
Are we using support available in the form of: voice searching; key word searching; searching using ‘copyright free’ searches; searching using reading age…

5. Digital Etiquette:  electronic standards of conduct or procedure.
This is a HUGE area, and in my mind, must be part of our daily learnings.  Defining as a team, class or school what is appropriate is a start.  Sticking to these definitions is the hard part.  Being digitally smart, is so much easier than being digitally safe.  What is safe today, may not be tomorrow, so we must aim for learners who are digitally smart and are able to transfer their learning. 
How do we support our learners to make smart choices?
What class consequences or guidelines do we have in place?
How do we embrace incidents and learn from them?
How are we supporting our learners to educate and support their families in these areas?

6.   Digital Law:  electronic responsibility for actions and deeds 
All users must be aware of digital law!  We simply cannot take anyone else’s work and change it, use it, or repurpose it without appropriate permissions and considerations.  From a very early age our learners need to be aware of this, and it must be a part of our programmes.  What are the consequences for altering someone’s writing in a share google doc?  How are we building up a learner’s electronic responsibility? And are we always modeling it?

7.   Digital Rights & Responsibilities:  those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.
“Digital citizens have the right to privacy, free speech, etc. Basic digital rights must be addressed, discussed, and understood in the digital world.  With these rights also come responsibilities as well.”
From a very early age now we are likely to be authors.  We are sharing blog posts often before we enter school at five and increasingly frequently thereafter.  We have a basic right to share.  It is the role of parents as first teachers, educators and facilitators to support this journey, encouraging all to share their story online, mindful of the need to face the accompanying responsibilities.  This is a challenge as what we put online is likely to be searchable and available in some form forever… and that is indeed, sometimes a scary thought. 
I accompany this with the caution, we cannot fear publishing, in the case that we might be embarrassed about our ‘childish ramblings’ as one teacher recently put it, at a later date.  What we are sharing is our story, locked into a timezone.  What we publish at five cannot be challenged, because that is where we were at, at that time.

8.   Digital Health & Wellness:  physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.
Space and place for learners to be aware of the pitfalls of spending too much time online.  I have just read an awesome article, “The science of sleep” by Gena Tuffery  Avoiding online activity for many hours before bedtime is essential.  This is one area I am particularly bad at.  I am often online until I feel my eyelids drooping, then head off to bed to find my mind racing through all I have been doing, or all I still have to do.  I really must have better patterns of online behavior.
How do you control your work life balance?  I would love your ideas, suggestions and routines… Please!

9.   Digital Security (self-protection):  electronic precautions to guarantee safety. 
“We need to have virus protection, backups of data, and surge control of our equipment. As responsible citizens, we must protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.”
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have worked with educators who have forgotten passwords.  Indeed, many times myself, I have stressed over forgotten passwords and tried numerous combinations.  Just as we take care of our personal belongings, so we must take care of our online world.  What is the answer to this?  How do we ensure protection of our online world while avoiding password stress?
What works for you?

For many, many years now I have worked with Andrew Churches’ model of Respect and protect.  Respect and protect self, others and property, especially intellectual property.  I am really enjoying delving into this new twist, Respect, Educate, Protect. 
Respect, Educate and Protect (REPs)

Respect, Educate and protect yourself and others…

Thanks again Mike Ribble, for an incredibly thought provoking post….

Where are you at with your Digital Citizenship?  Where are you heading?

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