Before this subject if you asked my about the term digital learning environment I probably would have provided an answer using my prior knowledge of the words. My definition would have stemmed from the belief that a digital learning environment is a space where students can learn online, perhaps merely referring to ‘Google Classroom’ or the like. Perhaps if you had asked me about the term digital citizenship I would have thought of students being aware of what they did online. I might have also made mention to social media and young people and how that impacts on our role of influence as teachers.
Early in the semester I posted the below comment into the discussion forum.
It highlights a discussion with peers around digital citizenship and some early thinking. Within the modules of the subject digital citizenship was defined as “The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities” (Heick, 2018). This definition, although at the beginning of the modules, highlighted the vastness of digital citizenship especially in outlining the consumption patterns of our students. When we think about how many hours young people may spend on digital devices consumption patterns become of extreme importance. How can we provide tools and support to assist students on this journey? From this point, my understanding began to shift to a much wider, broader definition of digital citizenship which encompassed more areas of the digital world.
Throughout this unit I have had the opportunity to work with a range of peers in group work assignments but also through the discussion forum. This networking has extended my knowledge of digital learning environments as I have heard other professionals ideas and thoughts. Below is an excerpt from a conversation during the group assessment. Through the sharing of knowledge and resources with peers we came to know the topic in more depth. Additionally, the creation of our digital citizenship module in particular my section on ethical creation brought about a further wondering around copyright for students. This wondering led me to the DQ Institute which provided resources.
In my role as classroom teacher I continue to learn from those around me. I aim to foster an understanding of loving to learn within my students and working through this course enabled me to model this. Furthermore, the role of the digital learning environment and the environmental scan assessment allowed me to critically reflect on my current professional context. Through this critically reflection I was able to discuss things that are currently working well but also aspects which could be improved into the future.
As I reflect on my final assessment I am reminded of the final reflection task within the modules which discusses if you could highlight five aspects of policy to your current setting what would you highlight? My breadth of knowledge around this, particularly acceptable use policy, has improved immensely. I can now discuss how various schools around the world are largely in front of the school I did my environmental scan on and discuss steps School A could possibly take to implement effective policy. This discussion, however, leads to a wider reflection on school policy in general in relation to digital learning environments, in particular, are we doing enough?
Digital Citizenship is not a buzzword. It is not something that we can teach our students in the early years and set and forget for years to come. It is not even something that can be taught at the beginning of high school and be expected to last them until year 8. Digital Citizenship is an ongoing discussion about how we can best support our young people to become capable digital citizens. It encompasses so many varied avenues including their digital footprint, ethical consumption and creation and social media. As educators we have a duty of care to our students to support them on their learning journey and to ensure we are best equipped to support them.
Crowley, L. (2019, April 9). Microsoft Teams [Conversation Threat]. Retrieved from https://teams.microsoft.com/_?tenantId=0b7024f5-8310-467c-b30e-420dcf890212#/conversations/unknown?threadId=19:firstname.lastname@example.org&ctx=channel
Heick, T. (2018, December 17). The definition of digital citizenship [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/
Ryall, A. (2019, March 23). ETL523 Discussion Forum [Forum Post]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/conference?toggle_mode=read&action=list_forums&course_id=_39980_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&mode=view