Digital Learning, School Leadership

Wrapping Up A Course in Digital Citizenship

As I wrap up my most recent course in pursuance of my master’s degree, I am taking the time to reflect. I have learned a lot about copyright laws and how we in education seem to be a bit ignorant about them. I also learned a lot of about the history of digital citizenship and the direction it is headed.

Specifically regarding digital citizenship, I learned that there is so much more than just teaching our kids about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has been the emphasis for a while, and still needs to be, but we also need to teach that in conjunction with digital literacy, safety, health, and so much more.

This course required more reading than most of my previous courses. With three kids, a full-time job in a new position, and a noisy house, it was difficult to find time to complete all the readings. In addition, the two assignments that required voice-

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overs took me hours to complete because inevitably someone or some dog would be barking or yelling in the background. However, this became my favorite part. I like that was given the opportunity to record “voice-overs” in a PowToon and in a PowerPoint presentation. I was able to give inflection and my personality to the audience that would be viewing and ultimately grading my assignment. In my personal opinion, it can be more engaging to listen to the author.

I’m thankful for my challenges, though. It means I’m blessed with a lot. Although I completed many assignments, I think the biggest accomplishment was keeping this website updated with weekly blog posts that are hopefully meaningful to my readers.

My best work for the course was the last essay I wrote. I put a lot of work into it and I owe a big thank you to my mom for proof reading it. I think I’ve done an excellent job really pulling together the main ideas of digital citizenship and copyright laws in a way that is useful for educators. I learned how to put together the information I learned in this course into a presentation that I can take directly to my job. This will help me to grow as an educational leader. I can model and teach the proper uses of copyright material to lead teachers down the legal path of using copyright material in their classrooms.

I’ve also learned how to respect copyright laws and people’s rights to intellectual property by carefully considering how I share work by others on social media. It is easy to “share” pictures, videos, or words on social media and not consider giving credit to the owner. Just because it doesn’t have a copyright symbol on it, doesn’t mean the original owner misses out on copyright law. In fact the opposite is true. They own the idea or product once they initially post it on the internet.

The only thing I would change about the course is the heavy content on the Copyright office being housed in the Library of Congress. Although interesting, the material didn’t have much impact on my education of actual copyright laws. I did share a lot of what I learned about copyright laws with my friends and colleagues. They almost found it as interesting as I did.

For those who are reading that have yet to take this course, I suggest you manage your time well throughout the week. For the most part, I found all the suggested reading materials insightful. You will learn things you thought you already knew about digital citizenship, cyberbullying, and copyright laws. You cannot be the most successful if you wait until the weekend to complete the work every week. You will really need to put time and effort into each assignment. Also, assume your technology won’t work and you’ll have to record multiple times. Overall, I have learned quite a bit that I will carry with me to work and the internet each and every day.

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