Growth in DigCit Thinking

published by NancyWTech

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Stages of Growth into a 
Many educators report that their beliefs and attitudes about digital citizenship education have changed and matured over time. 
Where are you in your #digcit journey?
Stage 1: Digital Aversion
  • be completely unfamiliar with the term "digital citizenship" 
  • have limited access to classroom technology
  • not feel secure in their own digital literacy skills
  • not think about technology in the classroom at all, ever
In this stage, educators don't know what they don't know about digital citizenship (and possibly anything else digital). Educators may:
"Digital citi-what?"
"I really just don't want anything to do with technology."
"I'm not a computer person."
Stage 2: Digital Anxiety
"Just say no."
Educators may have mandates to include technology use in their classrooms  but have not had professional learning around the pedagogical shifts necessary for that implementation to be successful. They may:
 Because constructive conversations about technology use are not the norm, students may misuse technology; therefore teachers' expectations about "tech causing problems" are confirmed.
"These kids don't know how to act when they go online. They're always off task."
"It's easier to just not use the technology at all."
"My students are so behind. They have to do [drill and practice program]. I don't have time for [authentic use of technology]." 
  • focus on what NOT to do 
  • be reactive ("shut it down, lock it up"), rather than proactive
  • not fully understand how to instill better digital habits in their students
  • think or say,"I don't have time for one more thing." 
Stage 3: Digital Awareness
“Somebody should do something.”
Educators become aware that their students need some kind of instruction about their behavior in a digital environment, but are likely unsure about what this might entail. They may:
"We had a guest speaker about that in September."
"I'm pretty sure our librarian takes care of that."
"I'll show that #digcit video if I have time on Friday."
"Don't be a cyberbully!"
  • seek "a lesson" on digital citizenship 
  • deliver #digcit content separately from the curriculum they teach
  • focus exclusively on Internet safety and cyberbullying
  • view #digcit as something to be checked off a list
Stage 4: Digital Action
In this stage, educators understand that every teacher, in every classroom, every day should discuss digital citizenship within the context of curricular learning.  Educators improve their own digital citizenship habits, mentor students in digital spaces, and provide students authentic opportunities to practice participating in the online world.

Use real-life examples and model authentic, positive use of social media and digital tools.
"I'll use this teachable moment to talk #digcit."
Students are adept with their personal technology, but 
may need guidance in 
using their smartphones 
as more than a toy.
"I can help you get more out of your smartphone!"
“I should do something.”
Expect good behavior in your class? Expect it (and model it!) 
in digital spaces, too.
"My expectations for your online and offline behavior are the same."
Be intentional in giving ALL your students opportunities to explore and contribute to digital spaces.
"Everybody means EVERYBODY."
“Don't prevent me from learning by 
limiting my access. Digital is my world.” 
[email protected], student with 40k+ Twitter followers
"Here's how we navigate this digital space - and why."
Digitally literate technology leaders model how to 
be safe and ethical online.
Stage 5: Digital Advocacy
True citizenship involves more than just "not doing harm" or "being a good person." The highest level of citizenship entails service, positive contributions to social spaces, leadership, and solving societal problems.

How might we use digital tools to make a difference in our community and world?
How might we identify problems and propose change?
“Everybody can make a difference.”
How might we mentor others toward proactive citizenship? 
How might we help students wrestle with ethical questions at the intersection of technology and humanity?