A Journey Through Technology

Final Reflection

I think high school teachers assume that by the time students get to us, they should have an understanding of how to properly use technology. We assume that students learn this at home, in other classes, and just by using the technology, but we need to be taking a more active role in how our students learn about and properly use their technologies. My plan is the beginning of my efforts to incorporate Digital Citizenship into my classes.

At the beginning of this course, I thought that there was not going to be an easy way to incorporate Digital Citizenship into my chemistry classes. After spending time exploring the components of Digital Citizenship and the ways that it can be taught, I started to see many different applications for my classes. The main issue that I have encountered with my students is their lack of knowledge on properly citing sources and using sources in general. Hopefully as I work with students on this, and other Digital Citizenship issues, I can work together with other teachers at my school to expand the courses in which we teach students about Digital Citizenship. I am also hoping to help design a Digital Citizenship class for all high schools to use in the district.

This class has made me a lot more aware of my Digital Citizenship, and the things that I need to work on, as well. I now see the importance of parents taking an active role in educating their children in proper Digital Citizenship, and with a four year old, my role is not going to be limited to just that of a classroom teacher. I hope that through my school, and even my district, we can educate parents on proper Digital Citizenship so that students are being exposed to the ideas at home as well as at school.

In chemistry, the elements of Digital Citizenship that are most applicable are Digital Rights and Responsibilities, citing sources and not using technology for cheating, and Digital Communication, using technology to communicate. These will be easiest to incorporate because they are issues I need to address at the beginning of the year. The other seven components aren’t as easily connected to chemistry, but by using mini-lessons each week to introduce them, and revisiting throughout the year, I think that integrating Digital Citizenship into my classroom will not be as hard as I first thought.

I look forward to the future of Digital Citizenship in my classroom and I hope that I can help students see the importance of being better digital citizens in our technology-driven world.


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Digital Citizenship in Chemistry

Click here to see my plan for incorporating Digital Citizenship into my chemistry class.

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Week 10 Reflection

Our topic this week was cyberbullying. I find it hard to even imagine what high school would have been like for me if we had as much technology as we have now. I was bullied throughout school, though no where near the extent that some students have experience. It any of my bullies would have been able to reach me anywhere, at any time, I know things would have been much more miserable for me. To think that students are constantly in contact with each other, not only during the school day, but pretty much any hour of the day, it isn’t surprising that bullying has become a part of those interactions.

We had a cyberbullying incident at my school this year that impacted multiple students, and as we discussed as a staff, immediately I though of the importance of teaching digital literacy to all of our students to try and prevent something like this from happening again in the future. I think that a well-implemented digital citizenship class could go a long way in reducing how many students partake in cyberbullying, and also the number of students that become victims of cyberbullying.

One way that I am going to try and address this issue is by using more online communication between students so that students can see examples of positive online interactions, which will hopefully encourage more positive interactions between each other. This might take the form of a class blog, where students can post learning reflections, or maybe more of a discussion board where students can ask and answer questions about our current topics. I’ve thought about starting one of these in the past, and now that I’m more aware of how I can teach my students about digital citizenship through my science classes, this really seems like the right time.

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Week 8 Reflection

This week we looked at the Common Sense Media resources for digital citizenship. I found the 9-12 resources to be very useful and am planning on implementing their use at the beginning of all of my classes in the fall.

The biggest issues that I have been running into deal with using other people’s creations and making sure that students know how to properly use and cite their sources when doing any sort of research work in class. I know that one of the biggest problems I have had with copyright is using pictures off of the internet, and my students also have this issue. It’s so easy to think that if you find a picture online, it’s perfectly okay to use that image as long as you give credit where credit is due. I have since been educated further in this area and now know that it isn’t that simple at all. It is hard to get students to understand that, or it least it has been in the past, so now I’m hoping the Common Sense resources will help me teach them how to use resources correctly.

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Week 7 Reflection

This week we looked at some different tools that can be used in education to help students learn about digital citizenship. I focused on three of the tools from this week: Digital Driver’s License, Digital Compass, and Digital Passport. The two tools that I liked the most were the driver’s license and the compass. I think if we were to start integrating digital citizenship into the curriculum, the driver’s license could be a good focus because teachers can create lessons that are specific to their content areas. The digital compass was most appealing to me because it is a tool that could be used in most any classroom. When I start incorporating digital citizenship into my classroom, the compass activities could be integrated seamlessly into my curriculum, especially since I’m using technology a lot more often in the classroom.

One thing that I want to make a goal of, is that when my students learn about digital citizenship, I want their final project to be making a presentation about proper digital citizenship in chemistry and forensics, that could then be shared with students in other classes, as well as future chemistry and forensics students. I want to make the digital citizenship aspect of my classroom to be student-centered, and that seems like a great way to get them as involved as possible in the process.

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Week 6 Reflection

The focus for this week was the nine elements of digital citizenship explained by Mike Ribble. The way he divided the elements of digital citizenship really breaks things down nicely so that you can focus on one important aspect at a time. He also provides examples of what that specific element looks like if it isn’t being followed, and then if it is, as well as examples of where this might pop up in school. I thought each element was well defined and necessary to overall digital citizenship, and I think the way he breaks them down serves as a good guide if a teacher was to use these elements in their own class.

As I start prepping for next year, I will be taking a more serious look at how I can implement digital citizenship into my classes, and I think that the nine elements will be my starting point. I could easily plan lessons for every couple of weeks that touch on each of the nine elements, and then find ways to incorporate them into my content area so that students are using the nine elements on a regular basis in my classroom, and hopefully extending into their everyday lives. Also, if a digital citizenship course was to be developed for my school or district, I think that the nine elements would be a great way to split up the units for the course.

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Week 4 Reflection

This week we explored digital footprints. I can honestly admit that the idea of “Googling” myself is very scary to me. I know some of the information that I might find, but other things that might pop up are a whole other story. As a teacher, it is probably something I should be doing more often, but it still isn’t easy. The degree to which our information is tracked on the internet is scary, and this week made me see that it is even more important for students to be educated about digital footprints and citizenship than I might have thought after week 3.

I think that some students may be aware of how information is tracked online, but I would say that a good portion of them do not. Some kids don’t even realize the repercussions from using social media inappropriately, so to think that they might be thinking beyond the instant in which they post something is unlikely. This week’s topic is more than enough for me to become a more vocal proponent of including digital citizenship classes as a requirement in high school. Students, and most likely a lot of their parents, should know what is out there about them, and know what they can do to slow the pace of information sharing, or even prevent it from happening in the first place. In our age of technology, I find it unlikely that you could prevent yourself from having any digital footprint at all, but we should all know how to keep that footprint as small as possible.

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Week 3 Reflection

This week we looked at character education and how it is related to the idea of digital citizenship. After looking through the resources this week and looking at what my fellow classmates posted, I think that if schools focused more on character education, digital citizenship could easily come from character education. It is a bit disappointing to me, especially as a parent, that schools need to focus more on character education. It is definitely not an easy task, and I can see how parents could really use some help in that area, but it is unfortunate that some students would only every get character education at school.

I now realize the importance of offering character education, and think that districts should put much more emphasis on offering character education to all of their students. If districts focus more on character education, digital citizenship could easily be incorporated into the curriculum, so all students are exposed to the concept. Once districts start to focus on character education and digital citizenship, we could easily incorporate digital citizenship into all classes. It would definitely need to be a group effort, however, if we want to make an impact on students. I don’t think only offering digital citizenship once would fix the problem. Digital citizenship would need to be an overarching concept in all of a students classes for actual change to happen.

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Week 2 Reflection

This week we examined the three versions of the ISTE standards and how they might change for the next iteration. I honestly had a hard time getting my thoughts together and comparing the first three versions, but after reading through Josie, Gerald, and Erika’s posts, I think I have a better grasp. At the rate technology is changing, the types of technology that might exist for the 4th versions probably don’t even exist yet, and if they do, they aren’t widely used.

The ideas of implants and AI being a bigger part of our daily lives honestly scares me. Are there valid applications for them? Sure. Is there a potential for overuse/misuse? Definitely. I am not opposed to using technology in our lives to try and simplify things, but reliability needs to be something we think about, too. For example, in writing my G+ post this week, technology sort of failed me. For some reason, I could not get the ISTE 2017 standards to load on my computer. Every link I tried didn’t work. Maybe the ISTE site was undergoing maintenance, or maybe something else was going on, but it was still frustrating, no matter the cause.

I will say that one positive that came out of this week is that I realized I need to be looking at the ISTE standards a lot more when I’m planning for my classes. I realized how important it is for me to stay current on these standards so that I’m giving my students the opportunity to get as much out of technology as they can in my classes. I need these standards in my professional practice so that I can continue to increase my effectiveness so that students are getting the most relevant things in my classes.

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