When I initially read the description for my digital citizenship course (EDLD 5316), I scoffed; I wondered how could an entire course be devoted to digital citizenship. However, after studying this subject and its many facets, I now understand that entire degrees and programs could be developed around this one topic. Because the term digital citizenship encompasses so much and our society is moving so quickly in the digital world, work has to be done to reevaluate the way students, teachers, and all others are educated on this topic and all that it includes. I have learned that much to my surprise that there is no widely accepted scholarly definition for digital citizenship.
Even though this course only lasted five short weeks, I faced many challenges within this time. The amount of material in this survey course was overwhelming: three textbooks, numerous weekly journal and online articles, videos, lectures, quizzes, eight part assignments, reflections, essays, and so on. I honestly feel like it was a huge accomplishment to stay current and manage to complete all of the required assignments each week. While I am proud of a lot of the work and time that I put into this course (especially since it was a great deal more than most of the courses that I have taken previously), I feel that my very best (and favorite) work in this course turned out to be my journal reflections. Because the reflections allowed me more freedoms on the topic and didn’t have as specific of a rubric, I felt able to express my unique voice and boil down the complex topics into fun, easy to understand metaphors. Through this process, I learned and confirmed that having the ability to express my thoughts creatively is huge for me to feel like the information will stick with me past the course I am in. This is likely why my second favorite thing was creating a rap song (Riley, 2018) for a portion of my culminating project.
As I have already established, this course was jam-packed with information about digital citizenship. Reading Ribble (2015), I felt like I had some understandings that will stick with me in the classroom and in leadership. Understanding what impacts a teacher can make on a student with regards to digital citizenship and which ones a school environment can help inform was really interesting. Reading about cyberbullying was very impactful and as a mother, I think that the stories are ones that will stick with me as my own children move from toddlerhood into adolescence.
This course is due for a bit of a makeover, and I would certainly warn any friends that take this class in its current form to avoid making social plans until they’re done. I would love to see the assignments throughout the course tied more specifically to the rubric. Often, I found that the two were not in alignment, and it led to confusion and panic. I would absolutely change the case studies. While I understand the importance of doing case studies, the way they are currently written is confusing. Overall, there were many times in this course that I felt like I was climbing uphill with a howling wind screaming in my face, but the triumphant feeling that I have in the end and the amount of knowledge I am walking away with is vast.
Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.) [Kindle Version]. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.
Riley, A. (2018, March 29). Project Respect When You Connect Presentation [Video file]. Retrieved 30 March 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M16zh8GWloc&t=300
Mrs. Autumn Riley
Native born Texan, Autumn Riley, is an educator-leader married to a dynamic high school teacher and mom to two wild little boys. When she isn't training for her next half-marathon, she spends time working on her sketch-noting and poetry.-writing. She is a Christ-follower and small group leader. All content is copyrighted to Autumn Riley. You may freely pin to Pinterest or link back to my blog. All other uses require permission. Thanks!