Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Digital Citizenship pedagogy: props n metaphors

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

I just HAD to blog about this. Looking at #oclmooc’s week 2 on digital citizenship (totally worth a look, and another look!) i came across this: Totally inspired by Craig Bandura’s “digital citizenship” kit (including the coolness of using toothbrush to remind not to share passwords; and toothpaste to remember once its online u can’t take it back), and was going to use it as a starting point for discussion in my class, asking students to add more items to the kit, then I found his “new & improved” kit which is even more awesome (but less simple, e.g. The paper activity where you crumple up and step on piece of paper then apologize to it – as a metaphor for hurting someone online). I love the metaphor of seeds & strainer, as well as the reminders to “unplug” sometimes 🙂

So now I am thinking of maybe bringing the simple kit to class, and having students either brainstorm additions to it from scratch, or i bring in items and they try to make connections between them and digital citizenship.

But let me just comment on this pedagogical approach: it’s awesome! I love using both props and metaphors in my teaching. I’ve had students brainstorm “education is like food/dieting” and “education is like flowers” (brought flowers to class, recorded on padlet) and often bring in chocolate to class and brainstorm the choices I make and my students make and how they connect to learning and respecting diversity in class. Y/day I read one of the most inspiring metaphors for learning, by Frances Bell, comparing learning in online open courses to water – she does a wonderful job and reading her post just made me feel more creative. Same feeling reading Craig’s posts above. Bursting with new ideas.

Now updating the digital citizenship metaphors, mashing it up with the water metaphor: some ppl can drown in all that stuff going on online; you make yourself vulnerable when you get into the water, you can’t always see beneath the surface (another question for trust?). I could go on forever 🙂

So just wanted to record those thoughts 🙂 Daughter about to wake up

7 Comments

  1. I am not a fan of the term digital citizenship in anyway. The term is rooted in control and technophobia. More so I believe digital citizenship reinforces the ideas of a false dichotomy. Why not just, “Be human?” The way to act in a civil society does not change when we plug in.

    Sure there maybe different competencies or skill sets (security, privacy, etc) but basic decency is no different in digital spaces as it is in meat spaces.

    • I see from twitter that this is a big deal to you. Ur right in some ways, that there are parts of it common to just being human. But being human comes naturally to us, whereas caution, trust, security, etc. online is tricky, isn’t it? Plus ur not a citizen of ur own country anymore, ur exposed in other ways. I don’t believe a term like “global citizenship” for example is an automatic extension of just “citizenship” because there are contradictions, and citizenship means diff things to diff ppl (even in same country, right? But more so across borders).
      So you may be right about the term enforcing a false dichotomy (so are many terms, really, that involve online and digital) but they help us have a common discourse about a sub-topic. Because, even the topic of “humanity” is not one we’ll agree on, and speaking about it as a “whole” is problematic.
      I don’t always see digital citizenship spoken of in terms of control or technophobia but i get where ur coming from. Have you read Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother? Paranoid but definitely NOT technophpobic

  2. Nice job here at many levels, Maha: you’ve added to the cross-pollination already taking place between #ccouses and #oclmooc, led us to another wonderful stream to navigate via Frances Bells’ column and metaphor, and created additional connections through our explorations of connected learning and connectivist MOOCs. Deeply appreciative.

    • Thanks, Paul 🙂 glad you found it useful 🙂 I’m loving #oclmooc even tho i can’t engage fully, so it’s great to make these connections

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