Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

In the next reading we will start talking about 3 of the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship...Digital Access, Digital Commerce and Digital Communication.  (Pages 13-21)

Digital Access
Essential Questions from the book (and the starting point of this blog posting).

  • Does everyone in your school have equal opportunities as far as technology use is concerned?  (Everyone doesn't mean just students, think of others at your school as well.)
  • Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?


  1. Taking the information from the book and applying it to my school I would say, YES and NO. All the students and teachers have access to computers within the school (teacher laptops and student desktops, PLUS a lab). BUT, not all students/faculty have access to computers and high speed internet at home. Based off of 2006 data from the book only 28% of US households have access to high speed internet. I never realized it was that low (a simply luxury I take for granted).

  2. Does everyone in your school have equal opportunities as far as technology use is concerned? (Everyone doesn't mean just students, think of others at your school as well.)

    I would have to agree with Jessica on parts of her comment. I believe that everyone has an equal opportunity with technology. Every classroom has 6 student computers, a computer lab, and a laptop for every teacher. However, not all students are given an equal opportunity to use this technology that is available to them. The computer lab at Rose Lane is mainly used for W2D and for MAP testing. It is very rare to find an opening on Share Point to actually sign up to take your class to the lab to work on a project. If students are able to visit the lab, the only thing that most teachers have the students do is work on typing or researching for a project... basic computing skills. Teachers with little computer skills rarely have their students on the student computers other than for Waterford. Although technology is supposed to be equally accessible to all students, not all teachers have received Smart Boards, because they have not taken the classes to earn the technology for their classrooms. Many of the students come into my classroom for W2D and marvel that I have a Smart Board... they call their theirs a "Dumb"Board, because their teacher cannot use it other than watch morning announcements. With that being said, students are not receiving the same engaging lessons because the use of technology is not being used. After receiving my master's degree in Ed Tech and taking hundreds of catnip courses to earn technology, I get nervous having a substitute. How will they teach? Technology is so much apart of my daily instruction. My students use technology during math, small groups on my Google Site, for reading, grammar, and science. Technology is also my weekly newsletter that I publish via TeacherWeb. I could go on and on... :)

    Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?

    I do not feel that all students have an opportunity to be involved in a digital society. They may have an opportunity to experience technology at school, but when they get home it's gone. Their is a huge disconnect between school and home. I liked the reading when it mentioned opening up school libraries for parents to come in with their children to access the internet, etc. I know that a guy in my master's program taught classes to teachers and parents on basic internet skills. For example, how to pay your bills online, set up an email account, post your resume on a web based job search, etc. to empower parents with the necessary skills to be successful with 21st Century Skills. Are all kids mastering the NETS Standards? (i.e. creativity and innovation, communication and innovation, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making, digital citizenship, and Technology Operations and Concepts).

  3. Digital access - I do think that we have issues as far as equitable access for all students especially when out of school. In school, I think that there is access but no execution from the teachers. We always talk about how the students know more than some students and I don't know how we go about getting teachers over the fear. The more fear there is from the teachers, the less access the students have to technology. Sad!

    Digital Commerce - One thing that stuck out to me was when it said, "Digital commerce may not seem to be a particularly important issue for teachers and technology leaders." We ARE educators and any part of a student's life should be of the utmost importance to us. Once again, I think it might be the execution. I can see some teachers saying that it doesn't fit into what they are teaching. Well...say the students are doing a country report in language arts and social studies. Why not have them "shop" online for products from that country. This way they get a chance to see how different websites that sell things operate and they can see the good from the bad.

    Digital Communication - The only thing that really hit me with this section was that im, texting, and all the shorthand that goes with it IT ISN'T GOING AWAY. Therefore we need to deal with it, and find a way to work with it instead of just blaming it! I don't know how this would work...I'm just sayin! One other thing. The article says that "Teachers need to research the use of technology before using it in the classroom." I think the district (Kim) does a great job introducing and making classes available to teachers. What teachers need to do is not be afraid of it and know that there will be hiccups along the way. What is important is to share those hiccups and how they were overcome with each other.

  4. Opportunities as far as technology-
    At Camelview, all teachers have a Smartboard but the levels of use vary within the classrooms as well as students individual opportunity to use computers. We all have the 6 desktop computers but some classrooms use those desktops more productively. Our lab is mostly used for Waterford, Imagine learning or websites such as PBS kids or Starfall. Honestly, without headphones the lab is a waste of time because there's too much noise. I don't feel that students have the same opportunities but I am thankful that they at least use it more at school. I have three parents that use their email to contact me. Most students have computers but not all are connected to the internet. More and more parents use their phones instead of home computers. I wish that more students had opportunities outside of school but free access is only at public libraries where there is a limited number of computers and limits on access. I think that opening up our libraries or lab to teach parents about technology would be awesome. Teaching about the elements to both parents and the children would teach good practice and children might be more willing to continue the practice long after the lessons are done.

    * Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?

  5. Does everyone in your school have equal opportunities as far as technology use is concerned? (Everyone doesn't mean just students, think of others at your school as well.)
    I'd say there is a very low percentage of people in my school who have access to a great deal of technology. Though our schools have WAY more technological opportunities (SMARTboards, doc cams, computers/COWS etc) than other schools, I don't feel we have enough to keep up with the rapidly growing use in society. Some of the students and staff have their personal cel phones, ipods, etc. many still do not have their own personal computers, printers, or internet access.

    Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?
    It seems we have a great deal of opportunities between computer usage at school and the library. They are able to be involved... but maybe not keep up as easily, at least not those in the lower socio economic pockets of Park.

  6. Does everyone in your school have equal opportunities as far as technology use is concerned? (Everyone doesn't mean just students, think of others at your school as well.)

    Intesting that the lab is a point ost have brought up in the blog. There was a time when labs sat empty for semesters at a time. I think the lack of access for all means that it is now an inefficient way to provide access anymore.

    Problematic in the inaccessablitly. Either we are saying that technology education needs to be taught outside of our classrooms (ie our curriculums.) Or we see a need for all to have uniform access more often and then the lab is not the answer but a more effective method to allow that accessablitly to occur for all or for the technology to be a natural integration of the content being taught.

    The question begs to be asked: So we have tons of technology but is it the right technology in the right place for the uses we and our students want and need. Nuff said. Dollars to dreams. ;-)

    Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?

    I actually think we are far better off than most. The number of children without computers, internet access, e-mail, a phone... has dropped to almost zero in my classes, where as 5 years ago I could easily say a third or more had no computer or internet connection today it may be one or two students max. I think we are just lucky.

  7. An argument can be made that students do have equal access to technology in the schools and it is even utilized to the best ability possible by the staff; however, with the emergence of smartphones and their ability to affect learning in the classroom with interactive smartboard apps, I believe that there could be another gap opening up. As the Dysart USD has opened up the use of cell phones in classrooms (per teacher discretion), it has embraced the division of students with technology and those without (along with a new avenue for educator responsibility). Is the MSD ahead of many districts in terms of policy and equipment? Yes, but with the quick changes that occur within technology, we will have to remain cognizant of the changes continuously occurring.

  8. • Does everyone in your school have equal opportunities as far as technology use is concerned? (Everyone doesn't mean just students, think of others at your school as well.)
    Yes, everyone in the school has an equal opportunity to work with technology. Every teacher has a lap top and every classroom has access to 6 student computers. Every school also has a computer lab with over 30 student computers. Most labs also have a Smart Board. However, there are a lot of teachers who are hesitant on how to safely and effectively use technology in the classroom, so their student computers just sit there collecting dust. I have a lot of technology in my classroom and my students are always on the computers. I also use my Smart Board on a daily basis. When other students come into my class for our W2D time, they are shocked that we have a Smart Board, because they call the one in their class a “Dumb Board”. All students should have an equal access, but they are not receiving the necessary 21st Century Skills according to the NETS standards.

    • Do all students have the opportunity to be involved in a digital society?
    All students do not have an equal opportunity to be involved in a digital society, because proper modeling has not been made in place for them. Maybe their parents are not digital, so when they go home and are excited about learning a new tool that tool cannot be demonstrated to the next level since mom and dad are not on board. Also, their needs to be more community outreach to parents and other community members so they know the basics of surviving in a digital world. One of my peers in my Master’s program did a project in his lower SES district and taught basic technology classes to parents. They taught parents how to pay a bill online, how to set up email accounts, how to write a resume and post on an online job search, etc. These are important skills in order to be considered fluent in the digital world.

  9. As Amanda said...we have all the technology there but it doesn't always work when we need it to AND I don't think it matters if we have the equipment, teachers aren't implementing it, taking the time to learn it or are to stuck in their ways to try something new. I know that we talk about this every time. I don't know what the answer is...

  10. Amanda (1st post)- you have announcements on the SMARTboard??
    Also, I refer to my SB as Not So SMARTboard when it's not working properly :)

  11. I agree with the posts that I have read so far, the access to technology at school is there, but it is not being used by all. Many teachers are unsure of how or "afraid" to use the technology that they have available, so the kids are missing out. I use technology in my classroom on a daily basis and my kids are getting quite proficient with using the Smartboard independently, but I know that is not the case in many other classrooms. I agree with Yolanda's comment about the use of the computer lab. Without functioning headphones, the computer lab is very difficult to use effectively because the students are unable to hear what is happening.

    As far as access at home, I don't have any students who admit to having a computer or internet access at home. Some may have it, but maybe the parents don't allow the students to use it??? I really don't know, but when I ask my students who uses a computer at home, the only positive responses I get are the students who think that video games are the same thing. I like that my students are learning to use the technology at school, I just wish there was some way for them to continue this learning at home-unfortunately, the reality is that most of my parents don't have the financial resources to provide this technology at home.

  12. I think our community have equal access within our school walls, but when they leave, the access and opportunity is spotty. Yes, families can get access at public library or at their nearby Starbucks, but the access to those places breaks down to physical access (i.e. no car, public transportation, no computer or accessing tool...) It would be great to have open labs on our campus but in this economy, it's just not going to happen and if it does it will take an act of Congress and God combined...

    Students have the means to be part of the digital society but it goes to what kind of access they have outside our walls.

    -Jessie McKinley
    CV Mice

  13. I know that I am really late in doing this but........

    Kids do not have equal access to technology and that is because all teachers have different levels of expertise and beliefs as to its importance to their teaching styles.

    Yup there is certainly frustration expressed by teachers that they cannot get into the lab or use the COWS. As I have a birds eye view to the lab, it drives me crazy to see the lab booked and then the teacher not arrive and use it so it sits empty!

    So no all students do not have the same opportunities - and when I talk to my co-teachers at other schools there is no consistency there either. It all depends on the school principal and his or her passions as to what each school does and that is wrong. That means that each student's education is on a lottery system - you are either lucky or you are not!