This course was extremely helpful. I know that I think about digital citizenship passively, but I don’t always do it actively. I learned that digital citizenship is something that needs to be taught and modeled, not something that happens naturally for students. They don’t know because it is new to them, so teachers need to be the pioneers of showing them how to be model digital citizens themselves. My largest accomplishment in the course was reading all of the dense material about copyright. I knew it wasn’t “interesting” per se, but I knew it was extremely important. Sometimes, with topics in education, it is possible to skim articles to process the gist; however, that is not the case with copyright. Copyright is such an important topic, and I knew I had to keep my head down and keep breaking my way through it.
The copyright section and the digital footprint section (because I wrote about character education) is most relevant to my outside life and teaching. I will be teaching an online hybrid English class, and I now feel much more confident in my ability to do so effectively and correctly with the knowledge gained in the course. What helped me most grow as an educational leader is focusing on the idea that it is so important to be an active teacher of character education in the digital sense. I know students have grown up with technology, but it doesn’t mean they know how to act like good people when using it. In fact, it might be the opposite. They’ve never had it any other way, so they need to know that people are people, and that they aren’t always going to be hiding behind a screen. I think many teachers take this skill for granted. I am probably the last generation that grew up without this ridiculous amount of technology but am young enough to learn it as it comes out. I am right there in the middle. Most older teachers don’t know what it’s like to be these students who are used to this kind of access, so they don’t know how to model behavior they never even learned. It makes it so much more important for us to focus on that.
To others taking this course, I would suggest making it as relevant to you specifically as possible. Our professor often told us to read and re-read the articles that applied to our lives and our teaching the most, and that the others could be supplemental. I believe this was extremely helpful because I ended up using many of these resources to build my hybrid course and learn about the dos and don’ts so I am prepared to run my course next year. If I could change anything, I would eliminate the journal assignments. They were very redundant and were, essentially, busy-work. Most of the assignments covered the material in the journals. If that is not possible, I would change the content in the assignments to differ from what the journal entries are about.