Well here it is… Our FINAL week! Throughout this course, we have discussed what digital citizenship is, what it means to us, how it relates to our jobs, and various ways we can improve and enhance digital citizenship for us as well as our students! I feel like my biggest accomplishment for this course was realizing that I need to do more to bring awareness about digital citizenship to my colleagues and my students. As a college instructor, I have always felt like my students already know what they should (and shouldn’t) do in the digital world; however, after many of the readings, videos, and research that I have filtered through during this course, I have realized that many people, including my students, do not even know what digital citizenship is!
Digital Citizenship Mantra: Leaving positive impacts in a digital world
The most challenging aspect of this course was the week we spent discussing cyber bullying. Most of the information we have covered throughout this course, and program as a whole, has affected me mainly as a teacher; yet, the cyber bullying section touched me as a parent, an aunt, a friend, and as a teacher. I was faced with the reality that more than likely one or more of my children will face cyber bullying in one form or another. I also faced the realization that there is a possibility that my children could also be on the other end of cyber bullying. I have always been an old-school parent to be so young, but I quickly learned that I am happy that I have been that way, and plan to stick to it. My children will not have cell phones until they absolutely need them, and when that time comes, there will be many, many talks about bullying, cyber bullying, and digital citizenship.
My best work for this course was probably my Kahoot game I created for my final culminating project presentation. I feel like this is my best piece of work because I will actually be using it to share with other colleagues, and after a little tweaking, I will also use a form of it to share with my students. This game will help relay information about digital citizenship to other people who may not be aware of the rising issues that come along with the benefits technology brings.
I will be using this course information to help me communicate with my children, my niece and nephews, and my youngsters that play little dribbler basketball for me. I will use this as an opportunity to be one more trusted adult in their life that could potentially make a difference as an outcry for help. This also ties into one of my most useful things learned in the course, and what will help me continue to grow as an educational leader- always practice the open-door policy! Communication is an extremely effective tool when it comes to helping students battle cyber bullying. Building trusting relationships also helps students open and talk about what is going on with them. This idea is true for more than just students and teachers though. This can be applied to parent/child relationships, as well as teacher/administrator relationships. Fostering a credulous, open communication environment is imperative to building a trusting relationship with everyone.
My favorite aspect of this course was the many reflections that we were required to complete. Although I was a little aggravated about it at first, I soon realized that the reflections really helped me grasp exactly how I felt and what I believed about the material we were covering. They required me to really think about how I truly felt about each situation! I also enjoyed the case studied which made us put ourselves in other individuals’ situations, and see things from their point of view.
If I could give future learners any advice regarding this course, I would recommend they get an extremely early start on their reading, and stay well ahead of the game each week. I would also suggest they take this course during their slowest five weeks of the year! Sure, you can skim by without truly reading some of the material, but there are some extremely beneficial readings in this course, and I believe all educators should take the time to dig through them! If I could speak to my friends about this class, I would tell them this same information, and encourage them to take the class if they had the opportunity. If they were not able to take the class, I would pass along a few of the videos and readings for them to review. I would also encourage all of my parent friends to review the entire week on cyber bullying to the fullest- I think all parents should see this information to help them identify with what our children are going through.
If I could change anything about this course, I would probably change my video on cell phone advancements. I really enjoyed creating my video, and I was fairly pleased with my final product; however, I feel like I could have done something that pertained more toward my job. The only reason I would change it would be so that I would be able to use it along with my other information during faculty meetings and professional development.
Overall, this has been a very rewarding course, and I am very glad I was able to complete it over the summer where I had plenty of time to focus on the readings and pother material.