Weave It

For Weave It I decided to step back a collection and look at our Back to the Future assignment. I have said before that I thought that the concept of digital literacy is somewhat of a moving target so I was curious how after being subjected to the the same readings and activities that I was last collection if any of my classmates had come to similar, or different conclusions that I had. For this assignment I chose to look at my own Back to the Future activity as well as the activities of Deana Waters, Liz Hollers, and Nina Fehrenbach.

Looking first to my own response we see that I verbally weighed how my thinking had changed from the beginning of the collection to the end of the collection. We see that my personal definition of digital citizenship had evolved to consider digital literacy to be developed on a spectrum similar to traditional literacy. We also see that I had started to consider digital citizenship in the same vein as traditional citizenship with certain requirements, expectations, norms. After a review of my own back to the future assignment I looked to the assignments of my classmates.

The first classmates work that I turned to was Deana’s, In her back to the future assignment I found very similar definitions to that of my own. Deana also had come to the conclusion that “Digital Citizenship includes being able to find, create, collaborate, and share. She likens being a good digital citizen to being a good neighbor which falls right in line with my own definition and made me think that I had reached an appropriate conclusion from the readings and there was consensus between our assignments.

Thinking that I had reached a consensus with my classmates on the take away for the collection 2 readings I looked to Liz’s Back to the Future activity. What I found was that Liz’s definition differed from the good neighbor explanation of digital citizenship and instead focused on digital citizenship being knowing how to use the internet appropriately. She explained that “digital literacy is like literacy of a language in that once you know how to read and write it you have to determinate what its appropriate usage is.” Liz’s appropriate usage based definition of digital literacy and digital citizenship provides some similarity to Deana and I’s good neighbor definition as someone who focuses on appropriate usage would most likely be a good user but it also differs in that Liz’s definition doesn’t consider the digital world as a community but instead a place that people go to interact while remaining rooted in their own communities.

The last Back to the Future activity I examined was Nina’s, what I found was that Nina Along with Liz had developed a definition around digital citizenship that focused on “how to work various programs.” and “how it is important to understand where the information we are reading comes from and rather or not it is accurate.” This definition also put the emphasis in digital citizenship and digital literacy in proper usage instead of building a community.

Conclusion

I have said many times during the course of this class that I believe that defining digital citizenship is like hitting a moving target. After going through our Back to the Future activities from collection two I stand by that notion. During collection two we were all exposed to the same readings and activities, and while we all refined our understandings of digital citizenship and created definitions that offer similarities their are still differences as we either consider digital citizenship as digital community or as a more formal place to interact. I suspect that over time and through examining more information that my personal definition will continue to change and shift. Even then I don’t know that I will ever end up holding the exact same definition as anyone else as the concept of digital citizenship appears to be what it needs to be to fit a different context of understanding for every person.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for checking out my post on digital literacy. I admittedly sometimes have trouble “seeing the big picture,” (I’m a detail person!), but I also have trouble thinking of the internet as creating community. I know it does, in a sense, create communities but….I really struggle with too much of my world (for my taste) being an online rather than an in person community. I think everything “going online” is having detrimental effects on our health, and our development, and even our morality as human beings. One small example is teenagers who are spending so much time texting and playing video/cell phone/computer games are not interacting with real people as much as they should be. They make less eye contact and may not know how to communicate effectively. Shouldn’t digital citizenship also include basic manners/rules, like: no cell phones at the dinner table? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out with people (not teenagers, adults!) who feel that pulling out their phone is a worthier way of spending time than chatting with me. It’s like people constantly want to be somewhere else, and are digitally wishing away the here and now..I’m really off on a tangent now. Thanks for your post, Sam.

    1. Liz,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you, maybe as educators we can expand our instruction around digital citizanship to also include proper usage in social settings!

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