In the first course of the digital education leadership program we were asked to interview an administrator from our individual contexts with questions based on the 5th standard, digital citizenship, for technology coaches from the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). Our first course provided a foundation to ask questions analyzing the digital readiness of a particular aspect of the school. Prior to the interview I met with David Wicks to formulate a theme for the questions.
I interviewed my supervisor and university librarian, Michael Paulus. The interview lasted almost two hours and my questions focused on assessing the need for and creating a basic scaffold for a digital wisdom education program. Such a program would teach students how to wisely use their devices in the learning environment in such a manner that limits distractions, provides preparation and opportunity to connect and explore with others beyond the walls of a classroom, and to equip them to graduate into a technology-rich city prepared to live and work.
My conversation with Paulus mainly focused around the questions, but also launched down exciting rabbit trails where we discussed trying to do something in the context of the library. The Tech Desk, which is a service point within the library that I manage, currently provides students with space, technology tools, and training to use tools. We discussed the possibility of piloting a program in the library as a catalyst for starting a larger program at the university.
Shortly after the interview I started to process the ideas and categorize potentially useful and actionable ideas into categories. I used this information to draw out themes and dream up a possible plan. To be clear, my report and infographic reflect my personal reflections drawn from the the interview, but are not necessarily easily actionable or necessarily the best option for the Tech Desk. Moving forward, based on future conversations with Paulus, I hope to refine the report and infographic, and implement it.
The key theme that the report and infographic explains is the promotion ofa digital wisdom education program that prepares students to live well in a digital age. My hope is to provide students with education that enables them to use technology well in the classroom environment so that professors don’t feel obligated to ban personal technology because of the distraction caused. My hope is to involve many partners across campus to formulate a comprehensive university plan that may take a number of years to design, refine, receive approval, and implement. Yet, I propose an actionable plan to pilot ideas from the Tech Desk in the near future.
ISTE Standard 5 for Technology Coaches
One goal of this project was to demonstrate comprehension of the ISTE standard. While the interview didn’t necessarily cover all aspects of the standard, throughout my report I provide examples of how to incorporate modeling and promotion of digital citizenship, as the standard describes.
Equitable Access and Technology Training (a)
To accomplish equitable access to technology we discussed the university requiring students to bring their own devices that meet certain requirements, e.g., the device can load a webpage, open PDF articles, format documents, etc. If a student didn’t have a device or a device capable of all the requirements the university would provide a device to the student. All students would receive a basic suite of apps to succeed academically and advanced tools, e.g. Adobe Creative Suite, 3D printers, etc., would be provided by the university for students to use based on their needs and academic program. Furthermore, the Tech Desk would support students using these tools with applicable training and online resources for free. In the library, for example, the Tech Desk would allocate funds it typically spends on desktop and notebook computers to purchase the unique and advanced tools students cannot afford, don’t have access to, and need to use to be prepared for life and work after graduation.
Safe, Healthy, Legal, Ethical Use (b)
We discussed the components of safe, healthy, legal, and ethical use as important topics for students to engage within the digital wisdom education programming. In my infographic specifically, these components are located in the digital wisdom badge that could be offered by the Tech Desk. A student who worked through a digital badge program on digital wisdom through the Tech Desk would cover these topics and gain helpful new tools to navigate life in the digital world and in the classroom, particularly.
Diversity, and Local & Global Connectedness (c)
The final section covers the area of cultural awareness, attention to diversity, and healthy interaction and communication locally and globally. Paulus and I discussed how professors and students, with training, can transform the classroom learning environment to bring in other voices from across the city, state, or even globe. For example, using Google’s Hangout technology high quality real-time video chat is an attainable opportunity without requiring much more than a basic technology device and at least a 5 mbps internet connection. There is an opportunity to explore what this might look like in the context of the university in a daily classroom routine, but as Paulus said in our interview, technology provides endless opportunities to transform where learning occurs.
Next up in the digital readiness plan is to evaluate my report and infographic with Paulus to refine and create an action plan that is attainable in the next few months. I am most excited about piloting a digital wisdom badge program during spring 2015 as a way to try out some of our ideas and possible use it as an example for a campus wide initiative which I advocated for in the report. Furthermore, I hope to create conversation partners in the library and beyond about how to design such a digital badge program at the Tech Desk. In particular, based on feedback from Wicks, I hope to invite a professor to help us in our design and implementation.