Exploring Digital Citizenship

Source 1

For my first source, I searched Edutopia for information on digital citizenship in the classroom and found this playlist of videos. It is a collection of eleven videos that explain what digital citizenship,  basic netiquette, and internet safety tips. The coolest video in the playlist is an interactive video that gives you the option of sending a risky picture. The video then walks you down what can happen if you post risky photos online and how once the media is posted it’s out of your hands.

Source 2

Source two was inspired by the interesting video from the previous playlist. This source goes over internet safety that goes over some of the basic concerns that I had when talking about using the internet in the classroom. How there is a possibility for cyberbullying, exposure to risky topics, and the challenge of teaching what is essentially a new language to a young audience.

Source 3

My third source is a ted talk that I watched in the past and wanted to share with the class. The talk is hosted by Sherry Turkle who talks on the subject of shifting our trust of people to technology. A quote from the talk that stood out to me is “If we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely.”  The quote is strong because it is a jarring thought for older generations. I believe that it is not the case. My generation and every generation after me has been raised with this sense of connectedness through the web. Instead of losing yourself in digital communities you are able to communicate your ideas and creations to people you would never be able to interact with in another age. A child can publish a book and your grandma could publish her own metal album. I feel that there is a disconnect that will not go away unless people are taught and educated in internet culture.

Readings 1 – Domain of One’s Own

Gardner Campbell: Personal Cyberinfrastructure
Gardner Campbell: A Personal Cyberinfrastructure Revisited
Audrey Watters: Why ‘A Domain of One’s Own’ Matters (For the Future of Knowledge)
Audrey Watters: The Web We Need to Give Students

Critical Questions

My understanding of “A Domain of One’s Own” is that Audrey Watters is trying to address three major concerns of the loss of personal information, the spread of misinformation, and the concern of political advertising that isn’t clearly advertised as being backed by a political party. Audrey’s solution is to provide students with “A Domain of One’s Own”, title drop :),  to give students the opportunity to experience how the web really works. How they can take part in the global conversation and put their ideas and creations out there for the world to see on their own domain.

I like this idea. I think that by demystifying the internet teachers, students and parents will be moving away from the idea the internet is solely for social media and come to realize that the internet has room to be an academic space. That there are plenty of valid sources, active experts, and websites for intelligent discourse on a variety of scholarly topics.

Readings 2 – Digital Literacies


Maha Bali: Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies, and Teaching Both

Doug Belshaw: Essential Elements of Digital Literacy (chapters 2, 4, 5, 7)

Critical Questions

From reading through Bali and Belshaw’s reading I am beginning to understand what digital literacy is.  Like digital citizenship, digital literacy is an umbrella statement that refers to an individuals ability to communicate and express their ideas on the internet through a variety of locations from many devices. It covers things from social media sites to blog sites and the ability to use phones to laptops.  This is where everything starts to get tricky. Bali’s article talks about the difference between digital skills and digital literacies. Somebody who is tech savvy isn’t necessarily skilled in digital literacy. The concept is easier to explain with an example.

Let us say that you want your students to look up information on birds. You task your students with finding certain pieces of information and listing their sources. A student who is only digitally skilled will just look up the bird in google and click on the first result. The digitally literate student would make sure they are searching the right website for valid information, check on how reputable a source is, and assess the biases the author might have on these birds.

To illustrate the difference I have created a ven diagram below to illustrate some differences between the two.


Back to the Future

What Digital Citizenship Means to You Now

What does digital citizenship mean to me? Honestly, before I started this course I never really had a term for the topic we are talking about right now. I always considered it to just be a part of being an academic. To be able to use the internet as a tool, communicate your thoughts and ideas in a legible way, and to take part in online communities to gain a better understanding of whatever you’re taking part of. It might be how to tie flies for fishing or even supporting a movement.

Bling Yer Blog

I have changed my blog. The background color and words looked off so I changed the colors. I also installed a plugin called Jetpack. The plugin shows stats of website visitors, optimizes the search engine and has some cool security options.

Readings 3 – Web Literac(y)(ies)


Mike Caulfield: Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers

Mike Caulfield: Civix Media Literacy Videos

About the Digital Polarization Initiative (DigiPo) and Examples of Student DigiPo Work

Elevator Pitch

The internet is full of information. Not all of that information is equal though. There are academic sources that are backed by experts in the community and then there are sources that are from an unknown or unreputable origin. That’s why as teachers we must teach students how to properly distinguish fake from the truth as well as the valid information from the invalid. To draw from Mike Caulfield’s Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, I agree that we need to teach students how to think laterally when online. The concept of lateral thinking online comes from the researcher Sam Wineburg who coined the term for researching information as your reading. In lamens terms, it’s googling and looking for the source of information using sites such as Tineye or PolitiFact.

To add my own idea to this reading I believe that we should start teaching students about lateral thinking as early as we can. The sooner you start reading online articles and news sources with this technique the easier it gets to utilize the wealth of knowledge the internet has at its disposal.

Readings 4 – Digital Citizenship (2.0?)


Digital Citizenship vs. Digital Literacy – Is There a Difference?

What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy

Critical Questions

After reading through the two reading I honestly think that digital citizenship and digital literacy are two sides of the same coin. They both describe levels of expertise, experience, roles, and skills that are used by people on the internet. I think that instead of debating on what to call being an active part of the global digital community to instead focus on educating and training each other to optimize and utilize the internet for a positive purpose.

One of the critical questions left me with more questions than answers. The notion of applying for a digital citizenship seems to be putting up more gates then ladders. Instead of teaching and educating students to gain skills and climb the ladder of knowledge we are putting up a metaphorical gate that requires an application process. I want students to create and take part in the global conversation. Part of my teaching philosophy is to inspire students to become creators and active members of the world not just be consumers of information.

Stake a Claim

My goal is not controversial or political. It is merely an attempt to pass on my knowledge of test taking to the world. Here is a powerpoint I have used in one of my lessons on test taking. I hope that it is enough.

Copy of Test Taking Skills


Music Shuffle Creative Writing Exercise

Title: Space Oddity

artist: David Bowie

length: 5 minutes 15 Seconds

Poem: This made me think of the time I had to fly to my grandfathers funeral. That was a hard flight.

A Sad Flight

At the terminal,
No time to stop now,
For the world seems farcical,
You’re finished now,
So just take a bow.
Swallowing a sleeping pill
For now, you lie still

Reality continues,
A pace rushed on,
Called from retinues,
While I sit alone,
Yet surrounded so I cannot moan,
At the cusp of an abyss,
Invisible forces are amiss

Change, Confusion, Chaos
Unrest and deadlines,
A rushed and frantic pathos,
Then a call from the airlines,
My time has arrived to fly,
A sorrow flight to say goodbye