Think About Your Thinking

When I first started this class I honestly had very little understanding of digital citizenship. Separately I understood the two words but I had never put them together. So in the beginning of the class I was really learning the meaning and context behind the words. With that being said I would say my initial definition of digital citizenship was the idea of using internet to bring about change in the world. In my Back to the Future post I discuss this idea a little bit further as well as my initial thoughts.

With further study I think that my definition of digital citizenship has continued to evolve and I’ve come to figure out what I think is really important. One aspect of digital citizenship that I think is noteworthy is the idea of fact checking and digital literacy. One of our assignments involved studying this idea and I learned a lot about how easy it is to fake a website and make it look real. Before learning about this particular faucet I didn’t know the process of how to go back and check sources. I think that this skill is really important to have and to understand because it is important to know if what you’re reading/sharing is accurate. I think as a teacher in the 21st century it is also our job to teach this skill to our students because without it you could be unintentionally spreading inaccurate information. I think another aspect of digital citizenship that is really important is the idea of using social media as a platform for change. I think understanding this and being able to utilize can be used to change the world. To me, that is what digital citizenship is all about. As for things that are less important its hard for me to think of any. I think that all of these concepts are necessary to create a full understanding of digital citizenship.

I think that the idea of digital citizenship has its foundation in normal citizenship. I think that the ideas are the same but just set in a different background. Being a good citizen means understanding your community and changing it for the better. I think that with digital citizenship this is the same the only difference is that the world is your community so your audience and influence is so much bigger. I believe that a good digital citizen can make a bigger impact than a good citizen but in order to be one you have to be the other.

Having a better understanding of digital citizenship has definitely made me more vigilant online. I think that I am a bit more skeptical of news that I read than I was before. I’m not paranoid but I do analyze articles a bit more than I did before. I think that my digital literacy has improved as a result of this class. I still don’t go through the complete list of fact checking but perhaps in the future this will change. One of the ways that I see myself being the most impactful as a digital citizen would be through teaching. I think and I hope that I can help future students become better digital citizens not only by teaching but also by demonstrating how. As a result of this class that is now one of my goals as an educator.

Advice for Future Students

Dear Future Internet Adventurers,

I’ve been asked to give you some advice for this class and here it is. The first thing would be don’t procrastinate! I am the queen of procrastination and with this class it really doesn’t work because of the format of assignments. There is a good amount of group work which requires both planning and time. So another piece of advice would be to look ahead at assignments because if you don’t you may be in for a surprise on the day that it’s due. This is key for “your choice assignments” because those take a fair amount of time to complete.

As for the actual assignments the ones that are personal I would say just go for it and be really honest. I think opening up is one way that I better understood digital citizenship and I learned more about myself.

My final piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to ask questions. This goes for both the professor and other students. I’ve always hated asking questions but with this class it’s something that is necessary and makes the class easier to complete. At some point you will also probably have to ask someone to do a project with you so don’t be shy. Overall, this class has a lot of work but it is worth it!

Best of luck,


Learning Thing

For this particular assignment I decided to create an introductory unit on Digital Citizenship. My intended audience would be adults because right now I am teaching mainly adults but this unit could be adapted to fit other audiences. For example maybe high school or college students. Further adaptation would be needed for younger learners (elementary level). Since Digital Citizenship is such a vast topic in of it self I think that for the purposes of this class I would just graze the surface of the topic. My unit is consisted of the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction: What is Digital Citizenship?

Lesson 2: How can I become a better Digital Citizen?

Lesson 3: What does being a Digital Citizen mean to you?

Lesson 1:

Objective: Students will understand the definition of the term Digital Citizenship. Understanding will be seen by the discussion of this term.

For this lesson I would begin with generating a discussion of what Digital Citizenship is and whether or not students have heard the term. If students didn’t know what it was I would first break it down for them. We would begin by discussing the definition of Digital (using or related to digital signals and computer technology) and then move on to the definition of Citizenship (carrying out the rights/responsibilities as a member of a particular group). Once those two words are broken down I would discuss what students think they mean together which according to the dictionary is, “a person who develops the skills and knowledge to effectively use the Internet and other digital technology, especially in order to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.” I would then show students a video that discusses this idea further. After showing the video I would also like to show Abdulallah’s Back to the Future Assignment (if he would allow it) because I think that he does a really good job of summing up Digital Citizenship. In his definition Abdulallah discusses the idea of how applying the knowledge of digital literacy to ones digital footprint is what Digital Citizenship is. I really liked this comparison and I think that it connects well to how I feel about digital citizenship.  I would end the lesson with the introduction of a graphic I made earlier in the course which breaks down important aspects of Digital Citizenship.

Lesson 2:

Objective: Students will understand steps to take in order to become a better digital citizen. Understanding will be seen by the creation of a chart or infographic.

For this lesson I would begin with a brainstorming activity to see if students have ideas on how they could be better digital citizens. As a starter if there are no ideas I would begin with asking how are some ways they could be a better citizen and then go from there. I think it would be important to also bring up the idea that digital citizenship is constantly changing and isn’t really stagnant. I was reminded of this idea in Maureen Clay’s Back to the Future post. I think that this idea is particularly important to teach because if the definition is constantly evolving so are the ideas of how to be a better digital citizen. After the brainstorming and this discussion I would then ask students to create some sort of chart or infographic showing what they think are important ways to be a better digital citizen. By the end the product should be similar to the chart that I created using canva. This chart could also be hand written or drawn depending on the technology situation in the classroom.

Lesson 3:

Objective: Students will become more familiar with what being a digital citizen means to them. Understanding will be seen by the creation of an infographic.

For the third and final lesson students will discuss the idea of what being a digital citizen means to them. Some of these points may have already been covered earlier in the unit but its okay to reuse. Before students take the time to create the infographic we will have a class discussion about what they’ve learned so far this week and how it has impacted their lives. Students would then be given time to create an infographic. I have created an infographic (again using canva) here as an example as well as showing what this topic means to me.

These three lessons are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital citizenship but I think it is a good start. This topic could be covered in multiple classes because there is so much to it but I think that the basics are important. Another aspect of this topic that is important to me personally is the idea of using digital citizenship as a part of change. So I think I would really like to extend more on this idea and break it down even further by giving more concert examples of how to become a better digital citizen and ultimately teaching those skills. I think that this important knowledge for students because it really can make a difference.

Work Together

For this assignment I worked with Abdulallah and Sam to create a presentation using google slides. Abdulallah and Sam had initially started the project before me so I was able to join their group later on. This worked out fine and they were very open to letting me join the group. I contacted them via direct message on Twitter in order to ask. I really enjoyed the project and it was easy to coordinate with them. I’ve used google slides before and I find them very helpful for group projects. I would definitely recommend using this technology for future students.

One More Thing

“Big Data”

What is it?: Is a word used to describe very large data sets that can be analyzed in order to obtain certain pieces of information. This can be both structured and unstructured information. Once this information is extracted businesses and organizations can use it to make strategic decisions and moves. Big data can be thought of as the three V’s: variety, volume and velocity. Variety describes the idea that data can be in regards to pretty much anything. Volume describes the idea of collecting as much as possible. Velocity describes the idea of analyzing/collecting data as fast as possible and how fast it is coming in.

History: The term “Big Data” is pretty new but the concept has been around for a long time. The idea of collecting large amounts of information is ages old but it the concept exploded in the early 2000’s with the technology boom.

How it relates to education: Many proponents of Big data think that its potential benefits for the classroom are endless because big data can be used to make more accurate decisions. Some researchers believe that big data could be used to better understand student motivation and hence improve learning. One idea that is discussed is the idea of customized curricula. This can be accomplished by looking at various data collections. Another idea was that student outcomes could be improved because teachers would better understand human behavior.

How it relates to technology: Big data uses many technological systems in order to interpret and analyze information. Some of these are R and Data Lakes. R is used to analyze statistics using programming language. Data Lakes are used to make large amounts of information more accessible. These are just two of the many technologies that are used to interpret big data.

How it relates to privacy: Many people believe in the value of big data but with large amounts of information come problems. Many of the services that come out of big data are beneficial to us but at what cost. It isn’t completely transparent where our data is going and how it is being used. There are also issues with tracking and constantly being watched. There is also potential for our data to be leaked and sensitive information to be accessed by outsiders. This is especially frightening for places like online banks and credit cards.

The use of Big Data has both advantages and disadvantages. I think that it is a balance between risk and reward and it is hard to say if it is actually worth it or not. I think in the future this topic will become of even more importance and it is essential for people to be aware of what it is.

Get Productive

For this assignment I decided to try out a new form of technology. Since I’m not super comfortable with new techy tools I decided to do something simple and try out an online calendar. Usually I prefer to use a written planner but I don’t always carry it with me so I thought it would be nice to try something out where I can use my phone (which I always have). I decided to try out google calendar because I’m already familiar with google apps. Using google calendar also allows me to share my calendar with certain people. This was helpful because with being self employed my schedule is constantly changing week to week. Being able to update it via google calendar helped me to constantly keep my schedule up to date and to share it with my husband. A lot of the time he forgets where I am or what I’m doing because my schedule is always different and so with this he was able to look at a calendar right away.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience of trying out something new but I’m not sure I’m completely sold on the idea of an online calendar. I really enjoy writing down my schedule and I think that it actually helps me to better remember it (as opposed to typing). One thing I did like is the ability to update it right away and share it with people soon after. I think that this aspect is really helpful in keeping other people informed. It is also nice to set up reminders so that your phone reminds you when the event is taking place. As of right now I think that I’m going to stick to my paper calendar but I could potentially see myself making the switch in the future.

Grok and Korg

When starting this assignment I decided to look at two other students blog posts. I chose to look at the “Get Productive” assignment that was available for both collection 3 and 4. For this assignment I used the Pomodoro method in which you set timers and take breaks in order to accomplish tasks. The first blog that I read about this was Liz’s post . In her post Liz talks about how she decided to try and online calendar for the first time because she thought her paper one was a little messy. Although I didn’t use this productivity method I found some similarities in the things she had to say. One of the things she discussed was that at the end of the assignment she wasn’t annoyed with the method and found it useful. I felt the same way after completing this assignment as well. I didn’t use and online calendar (I used a time management method) but I think the universal ideas for both methods are the same. The whole point is to get more productive in accomplishing tasks. The main difference between mine and Liz’s post would be I tried out a time system and she used an online program.

The second blog I looked at was Morgan’s post. Morgan chose to do something similar to Liz but the opposite. So she went from using an online calendar to a paper calendar. Morgan talked about the importance of writing down the correct dates and this is something that I can definitely relate to. I prefer using paper calendars to online ones but I have sometimes written down an activity on the wrong date. For me I’ve had this particular problem living in Europe because they start the monthly calendars with Monday instead of Sunday like we do in the States. This has lead me to putting events on the wrong days of the week. Some other things that Morgan discussed was how this activity helped her to determine that she works better at night. I thought this conclusion was interesting and it was something that I never really thought about while doing my time management method.

Overall all three of our blogs had things in common but I think that Liz and Morgan’s were the most similar. I think this might have to do with the similarity in methods they chose. I really enjoyed reading their posts because it gave me ideas of where I can try out more productivity methods.