The section that I chose to work on was 'Making Connections' and empowering teachers to use social media to increase their own (as well as their student's) understanding of digital citizenship. Here is my work from our group website.
Developing an effective digital learning environment (DLE) requires just as much planning and forward thinking as any other piece of infrastructure that is created for a school. Through the use of technology in classrooms, teachers will enable student’s learning to move beyond the four walls of the classroom and encompass a wide range of outside influences, such as their parents, experts and even future employers (Digital Education Advisory Group). The effective integration of technology into schools is a process that evolves over time and involves a change in the educational system (Kemker, 2005), however, if the change is to be successful teachers need be provided with the tools and capacity to design and implement innovative teaching practices that are underpinned by digital technology (Barry, 2018) while modelling good learning for their students.
It is interesting to note that more than half of the population on Earth is under the age of 30 and out of this, approximately 96% of them are connected to a social networking site in some capacity. As a result of this, it is imperative that the young people in our care have an understanding of what it means to be a good digital citizen and it is our responsibility, as educators, to model appropriate behaviour on social networking sites. Digital citizenship is not only important while using social networking sites, especially as education changing so rapidly with the integration of technology into classrooms.
Digital Learning Environments (DLEs) involve the total sum of digital resources that will assist educators to support, enable or manage learning. The incorporation of a digital learning environment means that students no longer have to depend on their teacher being present to be able to learn. As a result, learning can become accessible 24/7 and for some the the differentiation between learning and socialisation may become difficult and vice versa.
A range of digital tools such as blogs, digital portfolio creation tools and tools that allow students the ability to connect with those beyond the walls of the classroom will appear in the most effective of digital learning environments, allowing students to take their learning to places once deemed impossible. Each of these tools allow some level of collaboration and communication and can lead to negative behaviours and the creation of a negative digital footprint if not introduced to students in an appropriate way. It is imperative that educations model good behaviour to their students and one way that they can do this is through their own personal use of social networking tools. Twitter is a social networking tool that allows educators to connect, collaborate and share with an online PLN while developing the digital citizenship behaviours they need to model for their students.
Throughout this minimodule you will explore how Twitter will help develop a greater understanding of digital citizenship before exploring a range of Twitter users and hashtags to learn more about digital citizenship. A collaborative Padlet will allow you to share your initial thoughts on Twitter and digital citizenship. Alongside this you will explore a range of tools that are safe to use with students to help them develop their skills as digital citizens in environments that are controlled and monitored. Lastly, you will share your reflection via a blog post of what you have learnt about digital citizenship and how you are going to use your new found skills to empower your students.
To begin, simply click on the icon under 'Start here'! Good luck!