Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship is vitally important for both educators and students due to the rapid rate of developing technology. While this seems like a very generalized and scary concept, it has been conveniently broken down into 9 elements. These 9 elements are:

1) Digital Access
2) Digital Commerce
3) Digital Communication
4) Digital Literacy
5) Digital Etiquette
6) Digital Law
7) Digital Rights and Responsibilities
8) Digital Health and Wellness
9) Digital Security

In the short presentation I’ve created, I dive deeper into the first 4 elements to being a successful Digital Citizen. Also, I’ve included some outside sources that expand on the 4 elements I touch on in my presentation. So get your digital passports ready, and welcome to the world of Digital Citizenship!

Crash Course in Digital Citizenship


Butrymowicz, Sarah. “Bridging the Digital Divide in America’s Rural Schools.”
The Hechinger Report, 2014. Web. 15 February 2016.

“Guide to Internet Security.” Consumer Reports, 2016. Web. 15 February 2016.

Ribble, Mike. “Digital Citizenship In Schools.” ITSE, 2016. Web. 15 February 2016.

“Tips to Help Stop Cyber Bullying.” ConnectSafely, 2015. Web. 15 February 2016.

US Digital Literacy. digitalliteracy.us. Web. 15 February 2016.



Connected Educator

Connections are everything. To be connected is to be informed, supported and to be part of a larger network. In a profession such as education, it is extremely important to remain connected to students, parents, and other staff. In order to be an effective educator, we must be constantly educating ourselves and sharing ideas with one another. Remaining closed off to this vital flow of information ultimately suffocates education inside a stagnant pool of old ideas. Being connected to other educators and resources not only allows education to survive, but also to thrive and grow.

if education were a dog

I found that being connected to other students in my education class by participating in their blogs was a really refreshing experience. I was able to watch the TED Talks posted by Cindy (Blog), Laura (Blog), and Brian (Blog) as well as gain in my own experience by reading their reflections on the TED Talks they posted. I also was required to post a response to their blog posts, which helped me to feel even more connected. A lot of times, I lurk in the shadows reading other people’s blogs, but I am too shy to leave any comments. This helped to break me out of my shell in that manner. I was able to share resources to each blog post that I found relevant. I like lists so there are a couple of those in my citations. I commented and left a link for Cindy to check out the Khan Academy website. I’m fairly new to the concept behind the Khan Academy, so I left the resource as an opportunity for Cindy and I to explore the site together. Also, now that I am connected to Cindy, Laura and Brian on Linkin, their connections become my connections as well. This opens more doors of opportunity for all of us and helps to set up the path of success for all the people we connect to.

path to success

I am not a perfect individual and this assignment opened my eyes to that. Sometimes I get stuck in trying to figure things out on my own using only the tools in my tool box.  This isn’t always a bad thing, and sometimes I can make a new tool by combining two skill sets together that I already have in my box. However, nothing is more frustrating than trying to build a bird feeder when all you have are some pieces of wood and a hammer. I forget that I am able to borrow tools from other people to help make my project. In fact, I should be doing this, as well as collaborating with others to help them with their own projects. I’m really enjoying the connectedness I’m feeling with my other classmates as well as the education community as a whole.

whyyyy?colaborationall done

All that I have learned connects with almost the entire 3rd portion of the ITSE standards. This segment of ITSE emphasizes the need to remain connected with everyone as part of a network. So here’s how it all connects:

3a) Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.

Me: I am working on that with Twitter and Linkedin because I am less familar with those tools. I did not like the Twitter chat because I felt overwhelmed and bombarded by the responses. Now that things are calmer, I appreciate having Twitter as a tool I can use. I am making leaps and bounds with my blog and loving it. I’m planning on trying to do some of my own basic coding later this evening to see how that works.


3b) Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation

Me: Being connected with some of my peers through Twitter, Linkedin and their blogs has allowed me a greater confidence in my resources. In seeing other people’s information and reflections, it’s igniting my own curiosity to check things out.

3c) Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats

Me: I had to do some research on the internet to find resources that I thought were applicable responses to my classmates’ posts. While, they are not all sources I would necessarily include in an academic paper sent out for publishing, they prompt discussion and learning between me and my peers.

So, in order to teach, we must continue to learn new material and spread ideas. The more I learn, the more I can see that technology is a very valuable tool that can help us in this process. You can spread the love of learning, and you can do it with just one click.

Here are the resources I linked to Cindy, Laura and Brian’s blog posts:

Ostwald-Kowald, Tracy. “5 Strategies to Inspire Curiosity in Students.” Virtual Learning Connections. Connections Academy, 2014. Web. 10 February 2016.

Khan Academy. Web. 10 February 2016.

Tufts, Paul. “7 Lifetime Benefits of Teaching Coding Games for Kids to Your Kids.” Learntocode.biz. WordPress, 2014. Web. 10 February 2016.





Using Humor To Teach A Lesson

So this is a little appetizer for you all before I get into the meat of the actual assignment. I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend you watch this particular TED talk, especially if you are having a really bad day. A warning I would advise is, do not watch this video clip in a quiet space, such as a library. I busted my gut laughing at this guy’s tactics. Fully worth my 9 minutes and 48 seconds

James Veitch: This is What Happens When You Reply to Spam Email

While in the midst of my hysterics, my mom shouted from the other room and asked what I was doing. When I told her I was doing research for homework, she replied “It doesn’t sound like you’re doing homework to me.” This got me thinking. Why is it that “homework” cannot be the cause of honest laughter? Since when did it become mandated that homework had to be a miserable experience?

Homework = Fun

In this video, James details his accounts of replying to spam emails for the fun of it. This experience is relatable because almost everyone that has an email account has encountered these kind of messages. He uses humor, and his own personal wit, and curiosity to draw the listeners into his presentation. While this TED talk appeals to technology and education in the most superficial sense, it opens the door to much deeper conversations.

Humor Introduces

This particular video lends to opening topics about technology scams, fraud and all around risky financial actions encountered on the internet. At the rate technology is expanding, and the fact that completely electronic monetary transactions are becoming commonplace within sources such as online shopping, I consider it vital to teach about these kinds of issues earlier. In my own personal experience of apartment hunting on Craigslist, I encountered at least three scams of people offering living arrangements that were too good to be true. If I had not been as educated about the risks of scammers, I could have possibly been hurting financially now.

craigslist scam

As detailed in the fourth section of the ITSE technology standards, it is our job as educators to advocate for “safe, legal and ethical use of digital information”. This would include what our students should be wary of in interacting with people online. Also, using humor as an entry way to more serious topics is a great way for information to be processed and remembered.

Pathetic Brain

Technology allows us access to thousands of video clips from comedians around the world. Humor and comedy speaks to everyone, even if it is as diversified as learning styles. By introducing discussion topics with comedic connection to the subject, educators can effectively access the ITSE standard of “engaging students to explore real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools.” So much knowledge can be distributed in the form of satire and other creative comedic forms. Best of all, it’s fun.

An example of this kind of information distribution was shown in Stephen Colbert’s “Trump vs. Trump” debate. In this sketch, Colbert exposes the inconsistencies of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by arranging video clips to demonstrate how much this political candidate contradicts himself. While this bit done by Colbert is funny, it also brings to light the importance of voter education and participation in the American political system. Colbert uses humor to spark discussions about these issues.

Colbert’s Trump vs. Trump debate

So, who says homework can’t be fun? If anything, technology gives us a boost on having the tools to make it so. And I daresay, I had a lot of fun with this assignment.

Take away question(s): How can we as educators make homework fun? How can we use technology in this plan?