EDLD 5316 Reflective Essay

Week 5 Brand Mantra

EDLD 5316 Reflective Essay


EDLD 5316 Digital Citizenship Ups and Downs

Through the past five weeks I have explored, created, and shared information focusing on our digital world, and how to navigate safely. My recent focus on digital citizenship has opened my eyes and reminded me of the danger that exist in our digital environment. I feel I am always aware and on guard in my classroom, but this journey provided me with a mental checklist to reinforce digital action in my everyday affairs. I am most proud of my animated creation using Toontastic, an app found in Google Play. Toontastic allowed me to share information about digital citizenship using a storyboard, and likable characters. The finished product was attention-grabbing, and I plan to share it in my classroom next year.

The most challenging aspect of this class included the upload of my practicum video. Working with tk20 has been very challenging. This ordeal along with the heavy work load has made 5316 very stressful. Technical combined with the reading, videos, discussion posts, responses, journal reviews, case studies, cumulating project, and five-page paper left me feeling like I was continuly bobbing for air. If I could change one thing about this course, I would have had the video submission due within another class. The classwork load along with the practicum video was very difficult.

I believe my biggest accomplishment over the last five weks include the writing contributions to my blog. I feel like this work touches real people, and makes an impact on a larger audience. I was very proud when I noticed that a piece of my writing was featured in The Robb Review Daily. What an accomplishment! I was delighted to share this moment with my family and friends! Since my thoughts and opinions were chosen by an outsider and shared publicly with so many, I feel like this was my best work. Though this process, I have learned that you may never realize how your work impacts others. This opportunity laid the foundation for connecting my learning from the EDLD program, and sharing that learning with colleagues outside my classroom. (“What is Digital Citizenship?”, 2017)

The most useful thing I learned from this course included additional content information to include in my classroom. Collaboration form this course, and the additional referenced provided have allowed me to add to my digital citizenship resource collection. These resources are golden, and will be able to reinforce learning among my students. As a leader on my campus, I look forward to sharing what I have learned with other teachers and helping them embed digital citizenship concepts into their lessons.

I most enjoyed the collaboration in this course. I always like to read about the feelings and ideas of other teachers. I follow blogs from several of my classmates, and I like to compare our thoughts and feelings about topics discussed in class. It is interesting to see how different school environments, and cultures influence our thinking. I feel I learn so much from their contributions, and difference of opinions. I would suggest to future students to collaborate with their classmates. So much may be learned from following a classmate’s blog, Twitter, or other social media account. Deeper learning results from discussion with your peers, modeling, and observing others. I plan to continue to follow these lifelong learners after my program completion, and I would advise others to do the same.


What is Digital Citizenship?. (2017). The Robb Review Dialy. Retrieved 5 July 2017, from • http://therobbreview.org/?edition_id=68a0e590-4f5c-11e7-91bf-0cc47a0d1605#/

Bullying is a problem in schools and communities nationwide. Social media takes face to face interaction from individuals and creates a breeding ground for shame, insults, and bullying to occur. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has defined bullying as an act “That occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the Anti Bullyingpart of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. It is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. It involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. It involves an imbalance of power or strength.” (“Coordinated School Health – Bullying and Cyber-bullying”, 2017)

Today’s schools are navigating in uncharted territory, addressing bullying tactics that began outside of the school, but have bled over into the school day. Parents and administrators are unsure how to handle some of these scenarios. While schools decide on what is appropriate, students remain the victim of pain and ridicule. TEA had set laws into place such as Texas Education Code Chapter 37, Section 37.001 which requires school to have a anti bullying / harassment policy with consequences that are enforced by district employees. Education Code Chapter 25, Section 25.0342 adopted by TEA allows a parent to transfer their child to another school if the student has been bullied. These laws do not stop the bullying itself, but reveal that the state is aware of bullying in schools, they see the problem it creates, and have attempted to take action. (“Coordinated School Health – Bullying and Cyber-bullying”, 2017)

Incidents such as the Tyler Clementi and Amanda Todd cases have opened the eyes of the public, and shed light on the importance of the consequences of bullying, and cyber-bullying. Today’s youth needs to realize that real people exist behind profile pictures or characters, digital citizens use as their avatar. The internet creates a false sense realism. This environment makes it much easier to confront, accuse, or tease an avatar rather than an individual.  These scenarios which ended with tragedy for many have brought awareness to the seriousness of bullying and are now used as a fuel for anti bullying curriculum, camps, and support groups. (Ansary, Elias, Greene & Green, 2015)

Schools have seen bullying incidents decline when taking a proactive approach, instead of a reactive stance. Research has proven that preparing students for the dangers of the internet and teaching them how to respond when they are confronted with disrespectful comments or harassment is beneficial. Hollandsworth, Dowdy and Donovan share their feelings in the article Digital Citizenship K-12: It Takes a Village. They share the need to prepare our students for a digital environment, “Like a village, the K-12 professional community must develop common ground that advocates the use of technology in the classroom while preparing the student to make sound choices both for themselves and others in the digital world. (Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011)

As leaders, we must gradually transform digital citizenship from a curriculum at school into a movement. Vicki Davis, co founder of digiteen.org shares “This is an opportunity to empower a new generation of students who will stand up and speak out when they see these things happening”. (Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011) Teachers, parents, and community members need to model positive interaction while using social media. The negatives associated with the internet need to end. Ridicule and resentment need to be taught to be a thing of the past. Let’s empower digital natives with awareness, respect, and encouragement, and create a climate where bullying is not tolerated or accepted.



Ansary, N., Elias, M., Greene, M., & Green, S. (2015). Best practices to address (or reduce) bullying in schools. Phi Delta Kappan97(2), 30-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0031721715610088

Coordinated School Health – Bullying and Cyber-bullying. (2017). Tea.texas.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2017, from http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/Safe_and_Healthy_Schools/Coordinated_School_Health/Coordinated_School_Health_-_Bullying_and_Cyber-bullying/

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J. (2011). Digital Citizenship in K-12: It Takes a Village. Tech Trends55(4), 37-47.


TrademarksWhile studying the whirlwind of laws, words and symbols that relate to different property rights, I felt my head spinning. An article published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office shares clear examples and reminders to help everyday individuals determine the differences between copyrights, trademarks, and patents. These tips will help you understand the importance of the three and the protection they provide.

Copyrights are defined as “a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive right for its use and distribution.” (“Copyright”, 2017) Literary work such as books and articles can be copyrighted, along with sculptures, movies or music. Copyright laws ensure that permission must be requested from the original creator before any of the above listed items are reproduced, or replicated. (staff & staff, 2017) Copyright laws protect things such as Disney movies, Junie B. Jones books, or the infamous Blue Dog paintings by George Rodrigue. This is understandable, these creative artists and writers deserve recognition for their work. They are like everyone else and need to eat or have a phone bill that needs to be paid each month. But as you study copyright laws, the term Fair Use come into play. Fair Use allows limited copying of copyrighted work for educational and research purposes. So, does that mean teachers or researchers are exceptions to the law? Not necessarily. The situation in which the copyrighted material is used must be taken into consideration. The entire copyrighted piece should not be used to make a profit, or change the nature or meaning the creator is trying to convey cannot be altered. Fair use typically refers to educational or nonprofit purposes. (“Copyright Kids!”, 2017) 

A trademark is defined as “a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies a product or service of a particular source from others.” (“Trademark”, 2017). Trademarks are like brands, and can be names such as Michael Kor, that symbolize quality products, or symbols such as the golden arches that tell us a McDonalds is ahead. Catchphrases such as “I’ll be back” from the movie The Terminator is considered a trademark, along with a figure or a mascot such as the Aflac duck that reminds us we need accident insurance. (“Five Classic Examples of Trademark”, 2017) 

Patents usually protect inventions. A patent can be defined as “a right granted to the owner of an invention that prevents others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without his permission.” (“What is a patent?”, 2017) Patents last 20 years, and like copyrights, they protect the ideas or invention of the creator. The first example that comes to mind is athletic shoes. I remember when Nike Air was all the rage, their ideas were patented therefore you could only purchase the comfort of air in your shoes through Nike for a period. Patents also protect computer hardware, and medicines.

So, when referring to these terms, remember;

  • Copyrights protect original artistic works.
  • Trademarks protect brands.
  • Patents protect ideas or inventions.

By recognizing and understanding the difference between the three, hopefully you can accurately determine what you can use, duplicate and share. 



 Copyright. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 23 June 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

Copyright Kids!. (2017). Copyrightkids.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from http://www.copyrightkids.org/cbasicsframes.htm

 Five Classic Examples of Trademark. (2017). Intellectual Property Law Blog. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from http://legalteamusa.net/tacticalip/2012/11/13/five-classic-examples-of-trademark/

staff, F., & staff, F. (2017). Copyright Protection – What Are Some Examples?FreeAdvice. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from http://law.freeadvice.com/intellectual_property/copyright_law/qualify_copyright_protection.htm

Trademark. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

Restless NativesWhen I hear the terms digital native and digital immigrant, I immediately form a mental image of my daughter and myself. My daughter, the digital native has never experienced life without a cell phone, a remote control, or a home computer. She looks back and remembers the compact disc as a thing of the past. Never in her life has she had to wait a week to watch Saturday morning cartoons, tune in her radio or rewind a cassette tape. Myself, the digital immigrant, instantly reflects on “the good ole days” when life was lived at a slower pace, and gratification was not instant, it was something we worked for.

According to Mike Ross PhD, Millennials are defined as the generation born between 1978-1995. These immigrants are coined as being overindulged by their parents, yet still ruler followers. This generation may also be referred to as Gen-Y. They have experienced a great deal of change and some remain in limbo as to if they trust technology or not. Although I was born in ’76, I identify with this generation. We experienced the ‘Techno Revolution”, danced to “Mr. Roboto” and dreamed about what it would be like to “Party Like it’s 1999”. Yet often, I save my photos to multiple resources in fear my computer may crash. Today, Gen-Y can proudly identify themselves as highly intelligent, civic minded helicopter parents raising digital natives. (Ross, PhD MD & Ross PhD, 2014)

Ross defines Generation-Z as individuals born between 1995-20??. This generation consists of green environmentalists who value their individuality. They may be referred to as the “me’ generation, or generation now. Gen-Z excels at rapid information processing, they have grown up with instant access, and turned the noun Google into a verb. These digital natives are brave, strong willed, and ready to take on the world. (Ross, PhD MD & Ross PhD, 2014)

Digital immigrants often think of the natives as restless, juggling multiple tasks, and moving at a self-directed pace. Generation Z is constantly tuned into the world around them and communicate instantly. They like each other’s post, re tweet relevant information, and share their location with friends. These natives are not afraid of the cloud, communicate in a digital language, and make friends through social media.

Seeing these differences why is it so incredibly difficult to entertain these natives in the classroom. Often classroom instruction is structured in a 19th century fashion. The teacher, or presenter shares information, and the student is expected to listen. As teachers, we must transform our thinking. We need to understand that these natives need interaction, and thrive when challenged. Deep thinking, collaboration with their peers, and technology integration creates an environment where today’s learning takes place. Educators today are dealing with a generation that can truly do two things at once. These natives have a two-minute attention span, and carry all the answers in the palm of their hand through a digital device. Teachers and schools complain that it is impossible to compete with technology to gain the attention of their students. How true! Today’s teacher is going to have to use technology as a resource to gain the attention of their students. How are teachers expected to do this? Just listen. To become an influential teacher, listen to your students, develop a relationship, focus on their interests, and be willing to change. Their feedback will fuel your instruction, open your eyes, and allow you to create engaging lessons. Flexibility in today’s classroom allows learners to make connections to the real world, and exchange ideas with others. Technology can be used as a tool, a resource, or a platform. Allow the learner to explore, create meaningful connections, and share what they have learned. When the natives become restless, transform the culture of your classroom. Create an atmosphere where students can lead their learning, and inspire them to reach their full potential.


Ross, PhD MD, B., & Ross PhD, M. (2014). Finding a Pathway to Digital Citizenship in this Digital World. College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. Retrieved from https://luonline.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-2654454-dt-content-rid-20485099_1/courses/11279.201760/Ross_Digital%20Natives-Digital%20Immigrants%20Engaging%20the%20Google%20Generation.pdf

Sink or Swim: Creating a Positive Digital Culture on your Campus

Digital resources such as tablets, phones, and computers in the hands or our children is the main reason parents and teachers question technology use in the classroom. The first solution that comes to mind is to block everything. As a parent, I could compare this to fearing my child might drown, so I do my best to keep them from the water. Sink or SwimRealistically, my child will be exposed to water. My best option is to teach my child how to swim, and react appropriately to an emergency. Preparing my child for the worst scenario arms them with knowledge that may save their life. The same can be said for the digital world we live in today. We need to arm our children with knowledge, teach them about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and create digital citizens prepared to take on the world.

Andrew Marcinek, has served as an instructional technologist and director of technology. He shares in his article, Digital Citizenship: Developing a Culture of Trust and Transparency, his feelings of the traditional Acceptable Use Policy or AUP. Marcinek describes how this document that outlines what the school district deems acceptable usually reads like a legal document. He sees a need for altering the vocabulary and changing the tone from a list of do’s and don’ts placing a more positive perspective on technology use. (Marcinek, 2014)

While growing up, my parents constantly reminded me that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. The more responsible I was, the more freedom I was given. When I made irresponsible choices, I noticed my freedom was scaled back. Marcinek shares a similar philosophy concerning technology use. Presenting technology access as an empowering act sets a positive tone. Sharing a Responsible Use Policy instead of an Acceptable Use Policy changes the tone. This reminds students that technology use is a privilege, not a right. Trust must be earned through responsible actions from digital citizens. (Marcinek, 2014)

Marinek continues to describe the importance of digital health and wellness stressing the importance of a solid district policy, and educators dedicated to staying one step ahead of digital users. Teachers need to dedicate themselves to learning about new apps, extensions and computer programs so they will keep a current digital perspective. Bring informed and knowledgeable of what our students might encounter enables us to prepare them for the unknown.  Creating a transparent atmosphere that allows parents and community member to be included in decision making and planning lends itself to support of the districts ideas and beliefs. One idea shared is a tech night at school hosted by the technology interactionalist so parents may experience what is expected of their child at school. Sharing information such as new apps to be aware of, and programs used in the classroom creates a bond so parents understand that schools want to partner with them to help keep our students’ safe. (Marcinek, 2014)

Transparency, open communication, teamwork and responsibility are just a few of the requirements for creating a positive digital culture in your school. As a primary teacher, I see the importance for creating a solid foundation for the digital citizens I serve on my campus. Teaching my students, the importance of responsible choices, and presenting technology access as a privilege is inspiring. Arming our children with the tools they need to conquer adversity and make responsible decisions is the best way we can protect our students from drowning in the digital world we live in today.



Marcinek, A. (2014). Digital Citizenship: Developing a Culture of Trust and TransparencyEdutopia. Retrieved 10 June 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-culture-trust-transparency-andrew-marcinek

What is Digital Citizenship?

Dig CitDigital citizenship has created its own generic meaning. Although many people have identified the importance of teaching digital citizenship, and elements to focus on while teaching digital citizenship, one true solid definition does not exist. When searching for the standard definition of digital citizenship, the teacher in me first turned to Merriam-Webster. I entered “digital citizenship” the response “Words Fail Us, this is not found in our dictionary.”. Then I decided to enter digital citizen, the same response occurred. Really? When you Google digital citizenship, a plethora of options appear, but searching for one true, standard definition was not possible. (“Dictionary: Search the Merriam-Webster dictionary first. Here’s why…”, 2017)

Google offered several examples of what other educators say about digital citizenship. As I skimmed the internet, and focused on my reading for the week, I came across three examples of the meaning of digital citizenship that I decided to take note of.

Ribble defines digital citizenship in section one of his book Digital Citizenship in Schools: Nine Elements All Students Should Know as a concept that “reinforces the positive aspects of technology so that everyone can work and play in the digital world.” (Ribble,2015)

Terry Heick defines digital citizenship on the website Teachthought.com as “the quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.” (“Definition of Digital Citizenship”, 2017)

Kristen Hicks shares in her writing featured on edudemic.com the importance of digital literacy, and digital citizenship in schools today. She explains that “Teaching digital citizenship means embracing the reality that we’re all interconnected through the Internet, and that we therefore need to understand the responsibilities and risks that come with life online.” (“Digital Citizenship”, 2017)

After studying, contemplating, and soul searching, I decided to share my thinking about digital citizenship. I felt the following ideas should be considered while sharing the importance and meaning of digital citizenship with our students. My personal definition of digital citizenship; The interpretation of the actions of digital users, including behavior that impacts others positively or negatively, while considering an individual’s contribution to our global community.

Educators take note, often you are the first source our students turn to when looking for the meaning of an unknown topic. Digital citizenship has a place in our vocabulary, and in our classrooms. It is our responsibility to expose our students to the responsibility and danger associated with the internet. Our goal should be to inform our students of what to expect, and how to react while living in this digital world.


Definition of Digital Citizenship. (2017). TeachThought. Retrieved 8 June 2017, from http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/digital-citizenship-the-future-of-learning/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/

Dictionary: Search the Merriam-Webster dictionary first. Here’s why…. (2017). Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/

Digital Citizenship. (2017). digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 10 June 2017, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Home_Page.php

Digital Citizenship. (2017). Livebinders.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017, from http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1335250

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital Citizenship in Schools: Nine Elements All Students Should Know (3rd ed., p. 1). Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology Education.