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The first assignment from Georgia Virtual’s Learning is to present the three most impressive character traits of an exemplary citizen within a digital learning community through our blog. With these given resources:

I chose to focus on ISTE, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and the Knight Foundation. I started with the Knight Foundation because I knew the least about them. The first video I watched talked about the misconception of “engagement” as top down and not peer to peer.  Some people imagine engagement to be bottom up as well as top down.  And the idea of *meaningful* choices for students could mean projects over paper/theoretical exercises.  That directly translates to education.  Often engagement is fondly imagined as teacher lecturing while all students sitting quietly listening.  When more specific, personalized, and truly engaging activities might be going on between varying numbers of students, non-regulated, but encouraged, by the teacher. According to the Knight Foundation, a technology contribution toward digital citizenship is “shifting time.”  Creating the possibility of an asynchronous learning environment, inviting outside adult supporters, and thereby allowing self-editing of the learning pace and process education could truly be changed.

Clay Shirky notes in Here Comes Everybody that tools don’t get interesting until they become technologically boring. The most powerful tools are the ones that are so pervasive that they are nearly invisible.
And that should be the ultimate goal of technology in education – that you forget it is there.  It should be invisible only in the sense that the content and people are visible to each other.  Rather than invisible I would aim for transparent.  Transparency is still a known layer.  I think this in an important distinction to make because you want to be able to remove/change it as needed.

pewinternet_Reports_2011_Teens-and-social-media_Part-2_Section-1The Pew Internet & American Life Project‘s report Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites was an interesting read.  My take-a ways for consideration in structuring any peer-to-peer interactions came from Part 2: Social Media and Digital Citizenship: What teens experience and how they behave on social network sites:

Girls ages 12-13 have the most negative assessment of social network spaces.

Black teens are less likely to say their experience is that people their age are kind to one another on social network sites.

Teens tend towards negative words when describing how people act online.

I found this graph very interesting.  Teens generally have a more negative perception of interactions online than adults.  I wonder if that could just be said for social interactions in general?       ISTE provides educators with these straightforward standards for Digital Citizenship:

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship
and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal
issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital
culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in
their professional practices.
a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical
use of digital information and technology, including
respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the
appropriate documentation of sources
b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using
learner-centered strategies providing equitable access
to appropriate digital tools and resources
c. Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible
social interactions related to the use of technology
and information
d. Develop and model cultural understanding and
global awareness by engaging with colleagues
and students of other cultures using digital age
communication and collaboration tools
My three most impressive character traits of an exemplary citizen within a digital learning community:
  1. Rely on and model etiquette, but be ready to (fairly) call out foul behavior.
  2. Engage with peers in the learning community in meaningful ways.
  3. Model the fair use of others property by proper attribution.