Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning and Leading with Technology

    Technology advances are on the rise in the United States and with that there is increased evidence of misusing and abusing of this technology in schools. These misuses range from intimidating peers, downloading illegally, plagiarizing, improper use of cell phones and personal handheld devices, but ITSE's National Educational Technology Standards have given students, educators and administrators somewhere to start tackling all these issues. By dealing with these issues that are in and out of schools we as educators are able to prepare students to be members in a quickly changing digital society. There are many technology users already who aren't aware of what digital citizenship is, but it is simply the normal behaviors with regards to technology use. These behaviors can be broken down into nine areas. These nine areas are; etiquette, communication, education, access, commerce, responsibility, rights, safety, security, these issues all have different levels of importance to different groups of people, but there are ways educators can teach these issues so that they are all of importance.
    The first of the nine issues is etiquette, which has become a problem since there are no black and white rules on the uses of devices, which makes students seeing adults using technology in the wrong way assume is is the right way. But by having teachers and administrators follow the rules and policies set be the school in and out of the classroom-appropriate technology behaviors are being demonstrated. The issue that came up second is communication, new forms of communication that have created a new social structure. One of the worst consequences of this new social structure is that students have gotten use to using IM and email shorthand in their assignments but if students are shown good communication skills that are appropriate for each situation then it will not care over into class assignments. The shorthand that they are using has a place but not in formal assignments that are turned in. Third is education, teaching hasn't grown while technology in the classroom has; which means teachers aren't able to teach students how to use technology to find reliable materials or ways of using technology. To fix this if there are different learning opportunities provided with different technologies then students will know the way to find the right resources.
    Access since not everyone has access to a digital society and the disparity of who does and doesn't is widening, but by allowing students to work on projects at school or with partners who are fortunate to have technology at home, teachers are not only allowing all students the chance to use technology and gain that knowledge but also having students work with people they might not normally work with. Commerce is next and with online purchasing becoming common older students need to be aware of the dangers of online ordering but by engaging students in a discussion about the dangers and ways to protect themselves students will be better online consumers, then even earlier generations. It is easy for even young students to locate down loadable materials but they haven't learned the responsible way to find and locate these materials safely. Yet if we start teaching students copyright laws at the age they start having the ability to download material they will know the difference between legal and illegal materials, this carries into rights which also means teaching teachers about about students digital rights so they can teach them to their students. Students also need to be aware of ways to stay safe from physical dangers. The last issue is security which means protecting equipment but also protecting oneself, by teaching students they need to run virus scans and backing up data. There has been no overall agreement on how we should act in relation to digital technology but if teachers and administrators are able to agree on what to teach we will be one step closer to an agreement.


  1. Sydney,

    I agree with your statement when you say that teaching has not grown like technology has. I think that education needs to grow in perspective to technology so that we are able to educate our students about technology. I also agree with your thoughts about how technology, such as texting, instant messaging, or e-maling has troubled the children of today. I believe that they need to be able to communicate in a face to face conversation in an appropriate manner and not just through a technological device. I think that if students were well educted in the technology field then they would be able to connect and communicate with others in appropriate ways. Overall, I found your post very interesting and beneficial.

  2. I agree that access to technology for less privileged students is an important part of teaching. Pairing students up with more privileged students or allowing them to use the technology at school would level the playing field a bit. Another option would be to offer a way for students to “check out” the computers, cameras, or other technological devices they would need from a library. There is a liability issue with this, but there are always ways to counteract those issues.