Friday, April 18, 2014

MOOC-Ed: Coaching Digital Learning, Unit 5 Reflection

Unit 5 of the Coaching Digital Learning MOOC-Ed focused on Digital Citizenship. Here are my reflection question responses.

Share what keeps you up at night and what steps you have taken to foster a culture of safe and responsible use in your school/district.

Two of the most important things I try to teach and demonstrate for my teachers and students is Copyright and our Digital Footprint.

It is far too easy to violate copyright law while on the internet, and many students, and even teachers, still don't understand how the law works and how to protect it. Just because you are an educational institution and your students are creating projects for the classroom does not mean you can use other people's work and their images freely. Copyright is more than just protecting other people's investments and money. Its about protecting the artist and the creator and valuing their work and contributions to society.

I often relate the use of information and images on the web to students taking and using other students work. It's a matter of responsibility and respect. If we don't uphold the law and protect the work of the people, than less and less people are going to be willing to share.

Another issue that often bothers me is disregard for our Digital Footprint. That the actions we take and information and pictures we post, no matter how old we are, creates a footprint on the internet. And this footprint can be seen by the world, not just our teachers, our family, and our friends. Many students don't understand this and many parents still struggle with this issue at home. A few years ago I sat in a conference session about digital citizenship, and a former FBI investigator talked about the misconceptions of our Digital Footprint. He brought up a good point that our students today will try to become the future leaders of tomorrow, and many of them don't understand that what they share on the internet today can follow them and haunt them when that time comes. Everyone is responsible for helping our children learn the importance of our digital footprint and what is appropriate and not appropriate on the web.

What is your vision for incorporating and modeling Digital Citizenship in your school/district to strengthen a culture of digital innovation?

What many schools and districts tend to do is to shield our students from the vast world of the web. Youtube has some inappropriate content, let's block it. Facebook might have some creepers and inappropriate pictures, block it.

This is the wrong tactic. Shielding our students is not going to stop them from exploring it and using it on their own. I think we are finally realizing this, and instead of choosing to block, we are finally opening the gates and allow our teachers and students to explore its educational value. Websites like Youtube, and Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter can be used for learning, if used and taught appropriately.

it is impossible to shield our students completely from the bad in this world, so rather than attempting this tactic and failing miserably, lets embrace it and teach our students how to use it appropriately and safely.

That's why I believe in the idea of modeling appropriate uses and having students practice. Give them access to Youtube and lets talk about all the great educational and inspirational videos that we can watch. Let's talk about all the bad videos and inappropriate content and why its not ok to watch them at school. But there must also be consequences. Rules and boundaries need to be set, and if a student breaks them, punishment needs to be consistent. They need to understand why its not ok and what the consequences might be in life (not just in school).

My Instructional Technology Coaching Action Plan. 
Please comment on the document and add your resources, opinions, and ideas!

My other Coaching Digital Learning MOOC-Ed Unit Reflections:
Check out my Coaching Digital Learning Pinterest Board with all of the resources and videos from the entire course!

Follow Michael's board Coaching Digital Learning, #CDL_MOOCed on Pinterest.

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