Colin's Sandbox


Elements of Digital Citizenship

by on Mar.04, 2014, under #digitalcitizenship

Digital Access: The Foundation for Digital Citizenship

I enjoyed reading Mike Ribble’s chapter concerning the “Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship”.  All of them merit attention from technology staff at a school, district, or state departmental level, but I wanted to touch on the element that I believe serves as the foundation of all the other elements: Digital Access.  In addition to making all of the other elements possible, in my mind its also the most difficult to achieve without broad-based leadership and support from all the echelons of education.  Alaska’s rural realities make this an even tougher proposition, but it is imperative that we continue working towards increased hardware and Internet access for all students in the state. (continue reading…)

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#digcitmooc Week 4 – Extent and ramifications of the student “ePortfolio”

by on Feb.09, 2014, under #digitalcitizenship

Active vs. Passive Management of the Digital Presence

There’s been a lively discussion on the Digital Citizenship MOOC Google Plus group this past week, which has offers a lot of different perspectives on the importance and development of the student “ePortolio”.  Owing to the rapid rise of social media and the digital communication model in general, it’s more important than ever to get a handle on the message portrayed by what I prefer to call the digital presence.  I break this down into two modes of management: active, and passive.  Traditionally, educational institutions have relied upon a variety of scare tactics; I consider a much longer-term, cross-subject approach a better model to follow.

Actively managing your digital presence involves taking a critical look at what information is displayed prominently when someone searches your identity on the Internet and attempting to guide that process.  I don’t view this as gaming the system, or salesmanship; rather, a chance to reflect highlights from your work and personal life and  your passions.  This can take many forms, from editing your profile in social media networks such as Facebook and Google, crafting up your own personal home page, or creating an “” page (mine forthcoming) to link it all together.  This is you creating your business card.

The rest of your work online contributes to what I envision as the passive aspect of your digital presence.  It’s passive in the sense that the user is not consciously considering how this may be looked at by others five years from now necessarily.  This is fleshing out the meat of the skeleton outlined in your active management process.  Posting your good work, commenting on others’ work, contributing to online discussions, curating resources that you find helpful in the pursuit of your passions, all of these contribute to your digital presence. (continue reading…)

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Character Education in the 21st Century

by on Feb.03, 2014, under #digitalcitizenship

The Different Communities in Which We Live

In Digital Community, Digital Citizen, Ohler (2010) maintains that there are three communities in which we now live:  local, global, and digital.  I interpret the revised ISTE Standards for Teachers (2010) a little differently, in that we really engage in two different communities (local vs. global) but interface these two communities a little differently.  For our local communities, interaction is done both in-person and over a digital media, while globally our interaction with communities is overwhelmingly digital.  It’s a small distinction but to my interpretation the distinction feels more natural and leads to a more unified sense of self between time I spend in engaging with the world in a digital form vs. time I spend engaging with others in-person.

A Call for Renewing Character Education

Ohler (2010, p.189) describes a shift away from character education in the 1960’s as a result of several factors: “the civil rights movement, personalism, secularism, and the pressure to separate church and state”.  The biggest driving factor cited?  Access to television.  All of a sudden the teacher was no longer the sole voice influencing a student’s view of many subjects.  The teacher began to serve in the role of moral facilitator or “moral clarifier”  (Ohler, 2010).  Accepting that the rise of prominence of the Internet into education as well as its rapidly expanding pervasiveness has proven to be the single biggest disruption to our education system of the day then the time seems ripe to reengage character education in the classroom.  Even though I don’t agree fully that issues of digital citizenship require us to look differently upon behavior in real or virtual reality, a concept expressed as “camp two” of Ohler’s Two Camps video, it is apparent to me that a renewed attention is needed when approaching character education, and that the issue of a person’s digital presence needs to be a very large portion of that effort. (continue reading…)

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Planning for the Future

by on Jan.27, 2014, under #digitalcitizenship

When you ask, “How do you plan for the future?” in the light of the quickly changing face of technology you’re likely to elicit quite a few strong opinions about how “the way things used to be!” as well as a fair amount of shoulder shrugging.  It’s a formidable task; how do you plan for the future indeed, if you don’t know what the future is going to bring to your door?  The ISTE Standards for Teachers were last revised in 2008 and, while the revision marks a big change from their original document drafted in 2000, are ready for a reboot.

The assumption is that these advances in technology will only become more pervasive, and therefore I attempt to abstract as much as possible concerns and approaches to dealing with those advances.   Our goal, then, is to modify the ISTE Standards for Teachers to bring them in line with current and anticipated advances in technology and the social changes that both lead and result from these advances.

(continue reading…)

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