This past month has been quite an eye-opening experience for me as both a grad student as well as an educator. Going into this class I felt quite confident in my knowledge of both Educational Technology as well as Digital Citizenship. I'm routinely the "tech" guy or the "techy teacher" at each school I've been at, and I'm always happy to share (what I thought was a large) wealth of knowledge with other teachers. However, with each week of this class, I'm consistently finding myself humbled with what I thought I knew about digital citizenship. This week was particularly interesting as I've always felt that I've done a pretty good job at the beginning of each year (and throughout) teaching my students to be responsible digital citizens, but I've come to the realization, that I'm definitely guilty of not "practicing what I'm preaching." When we were exploring Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship through wonderful presentations by Amanda, Catherine, Nataly, and Melinda, two points really stuck with me:
When teaching my students to be good digital citizens, I had never really looked at it as only being the tip of the iceberg when it came to their digital presence online. However, as we discussed in class while teaching students to be good and responsible citizens is a good thing, it's typically encouraging them to take a passive role. As I now understand, as educators we can do so much more by empowering our students to become digital leaders and to take an active role in their online presence to inspire others. This is something that I certainly need to work on in my professional life as I would definitely describe myself as more passive online. I need to push myself a little more when it comes to things like Twitter, and rather than simply "liking" or "retweeting" - work to become more of a digital leader, rather than simply be a good digital citizen.
As for my second learning point, while we certainly discussed Digital Safety and Security in class, it wasn't until I responded to a poll by my fellow classmate Trevor Kerr, that I had my big epiphany in this area.
Great, but how does this relate to your Major Project?
As I mentioned in my first update post, my plan for my Major Project is to create a series of Breakout EDU's that focus around each of Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. While I haven't created a full Breakout yet, I've completed some research into how to properly design my own games. Before I officially began researching though, I realized there were a few things I needed to figure out. I first needed to decide if I wanted to create a digital game or physical experience around the classroom. After some contemplation, I opted for the physical experience as it's the one I'm the most familiar with and thought it would be a good starting point for this project. The second thing I needed to figure out was which element of digital citizenship I wanted to focus on. With my major learning this week revolving around privacy and safety, I felt the best place to start for this project would be Digital Security.
As I began my research, I came across a number of tips that most sites suggested I follow while creating a Breakout experience:
While not a direct link to Breakout EDU, I also found this video to be quite helpful in planning a Breakout as many of the tips they provide can easily be applied to the Breakout model. On a side note, I wish I known some of these tips before I did my last escape room with my girlfriend. Definitely would have save us a lot of frustration and fights over the duration of that magical hour!
Now that I've completed some research into how to effectively create a game, next up is actually applying this knowledge and creating a game. My current goal over the break is to create one physical game around Digital Security and then begin to explore the Digital Game options that Breakout EDU has to offer and try to create a second game around a different element of digital citizenship. I'm excited to get started on this and will be sure to post an update next week with what I've created!