The past five weeks have been challenging for me, but also rewarding. Before this course, I believed that I knew what digital citizenship was and how to prepare my students to be part of the twenty-first century, but it turned out that I had a lot to learn. The most important thing that I learned though is that I need to be proactive when it relates to my individual understanding about any topic, but especially those topics involving technology because it changes rapidly.
I have learned and accomplished many things throughout these weeks. The new information that I gathered involved being purposeful about creating and monitoring my personal digital footprint and the legal aspects of copyright infringement. While I did not find much information about myself when I searched my own name, I still realized that moving forward it would be imperative for me to pay close attention to what digital information is attached to my name. Teaching my students and colleagues this same thing will be invaluable for their futures as well to be sure the internet reflects a positive version of them.
Learning about copyright laws will also help me to grow as an educational leader. This was my biggest challenge and biggest accomplishment through this course. There are many rules that must be followed to avoid legal issues, and I was completely unaware of most of them until recently. Sharing this information with my peers and my students will help them to understand and avoid serious accusations in the future. Because this was a great challenge for me, I am proud of the effort that I put forth during that week of this course. My efforts on the case studies which involved plagiarism and copyright concerns allowed me to fully understand the laws.
While all of the information learned in this course can be applied to my classroom, my favorite aspect about it was how applicable the concepts are to my everyday life as well. Being a good digital citizen and sharing the information with my peers and students, as well as my friends and family, are equally as important. I am especially aware of what I have learned about cyber-bullying and how adults are often more guilty of it than kids are. We are so quick to just the younger generations for bullying when in reality, adults are doing it too. For this reason, I would suggest that everyone look in the mirror when it comes to issues or concerns with cyber-bullying. The change begins with the adults and after this course, I feel more equipped to move forward and work towards improving the digital and physical worlds.