Digital Citizenship Journal

Journal Entry 5: Overall Feeling

When I started this course of digital citizenship I thought it would be a breeze.  I told myself, “I got this.” But once I started, it was a whole different story.  I did not think digital citizenship had so many facets to it.  I really got a better understanding of what digital citizenship is truly about.  One of the facets I learned about digital citizenship was the Copyrights.  I had a general understanding going into the course, but now I have an increased knowledge on the topic.  Now when I look for resources for my classroom or for my school career, I am more careful not to make any copy infringements and make sure I get information to give credit to authors.  I am more cautious than I was before. It is always challenging to write about aspects that you still are overwhelmed by.  

As an elementary teacher, learning about Digital Citizenship is very beneficial  My students are growing up in a digital age where it seems like every month there is a new thing coming out.  My students need to learn how to navigate the ‘digital world.’  They need to learn about all the dangers that are out there and how to respect other’s work.  This course helped me understand that.  It helped me get a better understanding of how to use other’s credited work without getting in trouble. l.  It also helped me understand the different aspects of digital citizenship.  I always related digital citizenship as being able to use digital tools for education or how to be respectful and watch out what we do and say in the digital world.    Now I know that digital citizenship is also about having access to technology, our physical health, and so much more.  It is a lot more than I ever thought about.  With all the new information I learned I can make better-informed lessons for my students.  I can give them more of an authentic learning experience.  It is important for them to learn that just because it is digital does not mean we do not have laws that we need to follow, we do not have rights with digital tools, and that it will not harm us.  It is also very important for them to know that they need to be extra careful with their information in the digital world.

I have also shared what I learned from this course with my colleagues and if there was a chance for them to take this course I would recommend it.  Many people do not know about digital citizenship.  Everyone would benefit from learning about digital citizenship regardless what field they are in.  If there was anything I could change about this course, it would be a decrease of reading materials.    Even though the readings were very beneficial, I did not feel like I got a good sense of the material from the books.  It just seemed like there was too much material to read in a week on top of our regular assignments.   With that said, I have enjoyed this course more than some of my other previous courses.


Journal Entry 4: Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a bigger issue than most people actually realize.  There are still many people who have the “mean kids are just part of life” mentality.  There are times where I fall into that mentality.  At times it is overwhelming when you try to make sure that your child grows up being kind to others, but yet not everyone is kind to your child.  When I was younger I was always bullied.  In elementary school, it was because of how skinny I was or my high pitched voice.  Then in middle school, they attacked me because of I was lacking body proportions.  My parents knew I was being bullied in elementary school and they tried their best to help me out, but when it came to middle school I was not very forthcoming.  They knew that I was being bullied still, but I was embarrassed to let them know what I was being bullied about.  I did not tell my parents simply because I was embarrassed to even though I knew they would have gone to administration and helped me.  I did not want to talk about it.  In school, all my friends knew what was happening and they never stopped the guy from saying what he was saying, they would laugh with him.  I learned from an early age what a true friend was.  I did not find true friends until I was in my sophomore year of high school.  At that age if someone asked if I had friends, I would say friends at school, but not best friends.  They were just people whom I would talk to at school and that was it, nothing more.  I would not hang out with them after school or on weekends.  That is a very lonely world, but luckily I found a group of friends in high school who now I call family.

I shared a snippet of my experience because I know how it feels to be bullied, to feel alone, that you have no friends, and I made it.  During my time there were no social media, so I was also lucky.  When I talk to my students about the dangers of cyberbullying and bullying, I share my experience.  It makes it more real to them so they can relate.  It also lets them know that you can overcome it.  It is a long process and maybe at times there are setbacks, but they will be able to overcome the bullying.  It also shows that I can relate to them and they are more open to sharing with me because I have been there.  Students need to know about the real consequences of what happens with cyberbullying.  I also send out information to the parents so they know all about cyberbullying and know how to deal with it.


Journal Entry 3: Copyrights

There are so many aspects of copyrights, different types, but vaguely similar definitions.  It is hard to decipher between them all.  After reading and watching videos, I have come to the conclusion that copyright is a much bigger entity than I could have ever imagined.  I was knowledgeable about plagiarism and what that entails and had a small understanding of what copyrights were. I knew that I cannot use someone’s material and pass it as my own because that is plagiarism.  I also knew that I cannot use material that has the copyright trademark and those materials also have a notice on how I may use the material.  But now with all the information I read this week, I am overwhelmed with all the intricacies of copyright issues.  Any work that a person creates have copyright rights and it is protected by Copyright Law from my understanding.  

With that said as teachers, we use others’ work constantly.  We use materials in the classrooms.  We do not distribute outside of our classrooms.  So are we breaking laws when we do this?  Now, I am a dual language teacher, so I need to have material in Spanish.  It is very hard to come by resources in Spanish, so most of the time I am translating material that I already have in English.  In doing so, am I committing copyright infringement?  What about all the material on Teacher Pay Teachers?  How do I know if their material is copyrighted?  My main concern is about the work I translate.  I am not selling the translated work, so am I okay with doing that? This has opened up a can of worms I did not consider.


Journal Entry 2: Technology Life

Technology is such a powerful tool.  Technology is a great asset from our learning, communication, to the way we watch television.  We use technology more and more each day.  Children are being introduced to technology at a very young stage.  Many people think it is harmful to children to be on a device.  They feel they should be outside playing, playing with toys, and interacting with others instead of being glued to a device.  Which is true, but if you limit their time on a device and watch educational videos with them, they have a higher chance to learn more.  For example, my daughter to the iPad very quickly.  So instead of taking it away from her I would sit with her and watch educational videos.  I had been teaching my daughter her alphabet and she was getting it, but when she was playing on the iPad she was more animated and learned her alphabets quickly.  She is still a very active child who loves to play outside, with toys and other children.


There are tons of social media networks out there that makes it easier to get in touch with others around the world.  I use social media a lot to see what other educators are doing in their classrooms.  It has become second nature to look at my Instagram and Twitter feed for that information.  With all of these new technologies, we have become very dependent on technology.  A lot of people see that as being horrendous, but if you think about it, we are also dependent on many other things.  We are highly dependent on our vehicles, our fast food, etc.  I do not see anything wrong with having a technology dependency.  You just have to be very conscious of how much time you spend on it so you are also being present with the outside world.

Since social media is very prominent in our lives we leave a piece of ourselves everywhere we go.  What you post, look at, and buy is out there for everyone to see.  Many people put their whole lives on social media and that is very dangerous to do.  They see no harm in posting pictures and comments.  They feel a sense of anonymity that they can do no harm, but in reality that is far from the truth.  Everything we leave on the internet has a good probability that it will be there forever.  Many employers and colleges are now taking social media very seriously.  It is very important to teach young children that everything they do can come back and haunt them.  They need to be very cautious of what they are posting.

Also since there has been an increase in technology, net neutrality has become a big topic.  It is important for us to make sure that it stays.  Without it, it would be hard for people to get the same access to the internet.  Internet Service Providers (ISP) should not get the choice to choose what sources people are able to get, through their search engines.  We should not have to pay to get more access to different websites or have our internet be slower because the ISP does not have a contract with certain companies.


Journal Entry 1: Digital Citizenship

The first time I heard about Digital Citizenship was at a technology conference.  The presenter was Kayla Delzer from Top Dog Teaching. She went over what Digital Citizenship meant, and how we need to teach our students that whatever we do in the digital world follows us throughout our lives.  She also discussed how we need to teach students to be conscious on how we behave and write on the internet and many other aspects.  After reading Ribble’s book: Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know, I can see similarities in their perspective of Digital Citizenship.

Our students are growing up very different from how many of us grew up.  When I was younger we did not have a computer at home until I was seven and even then the computer we had was nothing compared to the computers of today.  That computer was massive and used those big floppy disks and only displayed a green screen  That was my first introduction to technology.  Not until I was in high school that I got a laptop and used the computer for school purposes. I still did not use technology like many children do today.  I did not surf the internet, did not go into chat rooms, or anything like that. I was more afraid of the technology than anything else.  Children now are not afraid of technology.

Children this day go on the internet and befriend almost anyone that contacts them through chat rooms or gaming.  They also think that since they are on the web, whatever they say or do does not matter in the ‘real world.’  This is why it is so important for us to teach children how to be safe and be a good citizen in the digital world.  That is why it is important for us to teach students the nine elements from Ribble.  Students need to learn how to interact digitally, they need to know how to secure their identity, how to use technology to further their learning, etc.  If children are not receiving this information at home it is imperative that we teach them at school since we are asking them to use technology more and more each year.


References

Brichacek, A. (2014). Infographic: citizenship in the digital age. ISTE. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=192

Delzer, M. (1970, January 01). Nice to meet you! Retrieved September 09, 2017, from http://www.topdogteaching.com/p/meet-teacher.html

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.