I have two outstanding partners for my major project, Awesome Ashley and Neat-o Nancy! Ashley was the first in our group to make public the course that we are going to be developing, and so I can really just say check out her blog post about what we are going to tackle since she did such a great job of laying it out!

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Like Ashley, I am quite excited about this project. I have always had an interest in course design and having so much freedom to create a framework for a course that interests us is engaging. I’ll be honest, anytime I have the option to choose ANYTHING related to teaching and learning, I go to the sciences. I really want to develop a locally developed astronomy course one day. Ashley, Nancy, and I have all been involved in increasing digital fluency in our school, with students and teachers. We want to continue this with creating a course around the Digital Citizenship Continuum created by none other than @courosa and @kbhildebrandt. It’s not quite science, but I recognize the need for this to be tied in with all courses. Every semester I have been moving my science classes more into what I would consider a blended model, and digital citizenship needs to be explicitly taught alongside this. It is every teacher’s responsibility, regardless of subject area, to include key literacies. There are helpful videos you can show your students, such as the one below about oversharing, but 3 minutes isn’t sufficient. Students need a more thorough exploration and that’s where a course like the one we are creating, based off of the Digital Citizenship Continuum, can hopefully come in.

There are a bunch of competencies included within the Continuum, and as Ashley notes, “The competencies have used the concepts of Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship and include three broad categories:

  1. Respect – digital etiquette, digital access and digital law
  2. Educate – digital communication, digital literacy, digital commerce
  3. Protect – digital rights and responsibilities, digital safety and security, digital health and wellness”

Nancy will be developing a module based on the respect category, Ashley the Protect category, and I will be taking the Educate category. Within that category, I am going to specifically be looking at the digital literacy topic.

Photo Credit: Ken Whytock Flickr via Compfight cc

Within the Continuum it highlights what students should understand and be able to do for each topic within a particular grade range. Since the three of us are high school teachers, we will be looking at the grades 10-12 range. For my particular topic of digital literacy, as an example, students are expected to understand “finding and evaluating information” and be able to, “use online tools for taking notes and organizing information”.

One of the goals we have in developing this course is to incorporate a wide variety of digital tools as you can’t really become a literate citizen without experiencing a wide variety of tools to help develop 21st century skills. I think we would really like to be able to incorporate the social and constructivist opportunities the internet provides in this course to make the experience as authentic as possible.

If you have any suggestions regarding particular activities you think students should have to complete as part of this course, I know we would love to hear about them. See, here I am using the social nature of the web to create something meaningful and that can be the best that it can possibly be. We would love to hear from you! On a more selfish note, if you have any specific digital literacy items you think must be included, let me know!

All feedback ‘preciated!

Live long and prosper