Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful... Margaret J. Wheatley
I am currently participating with a cohort group in ISTE’s Educator Certification course, and consequently have a number of required opportunities for reflection. One of the reasons (inspired by George Couros) that I began blogging again is to reflect ‘out loud’ as a part of my own learning, (Hopefully the sporadic appearance of my posts is more an indicator of my own lack of discipline when it comes to writing than it is of how frequently I think about new learning)
I selected two activities related to the Standards for Educators to complete in the module on Digital Citizenship. The first related to indicator 3d of the Citizen standard: Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy. The activity included a review of the privacy policies of several software tools and applications. Like most people I know, my tendency is to simply click ‘agree’ without bothering to read what it is that I’ve agreed to.
While my behavior is not likely to undergo a radical change, I am more cognizant about what is typically contained in these agreements, and I do consciously make a decision about accepting the terms. This is important when it involves a personal choice to use a tool, but it is critical when making a choice or recommendation for tools to be used by others, especially when the users are students. I’ve also become more intentional about reading/researching perspectives on privacy, such as this recent Edsurge Podcast - ‘Prohibition Will Get You Nowhere’.
My second activity related to indicator 2b of the Leader standard: Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students. This activity involved a review of our regional BrightBytes data, and is the topic of my recent post, Equity Matters. The main takeaway is that equity involves access to more than technology or digital tools, but access to classrooms and teachers who routinely provide meaningful opportunities for students to extend or enhance their learning through the effective use of the available technology.