Search Google News for “Facebook scandal” and you’ll get 53,600,000 hits. Well, you will, if you have the same location and browsing history as we do.
Once you learn that an algorithm determines these hits, does that impact what you ask students to research? When you require students to use TurnItIn, do you tell them what happens to their intellectual property? If you require students to use publisher courseware, do you know how publishers use the data they’re gathering? If so, then you’re asking questions that are at the core of the new @ONE course, Digital Citizenship. Admittedly, questions are more plentiful than answers.
– Ramela Abbamontian, Los Angeles Pierce College
Acknowledging the unique abilities and dispositions of our 21st century learners, we begin the course by exploring strategies for modeling digital presence and providing opportunities for students to create content and connect with a global audience. Examples of this “participatory learning” include:
- Using social media to build upon classroom learning and allow students to create content in authentic environments
- Using Twitter to develop a professional learning network
- Incorporating “non-disposable” assignments that allow students to share their work with wider audiences
Significant ethical issues impact how we engage with digital platforms, and thus how we teach and learn online
- Digital polarization: How are digital platforms driving and profiting from our emotional engagement?
- Algorithmic bias: How do the algorithms behind search engines like Google reflect racist, sexist, or other social biases?
- Digital redlining: How do tech policies and practices reinforce class and race boundaries?
- Data privacy: How is our data tracked and stored on platforms like Facebook, and via educational technologies?
In the face of such daunting issues, what can we actually do? In addition to learning about digital platforms and student privacy, we can also emphasize digital information literacy in our curriculum. A great resource is Mike Caulfield’s Web Literacy text, and corresponding short videos on media literacy.
– Kristie Camacho, College of the Desert
The most recent Wisconsin Hope Lab report on student hunger and homelessness finds 42% of community colleges students to be food insecure, and 46% housing insecure. In light of this, it’s no surprise that adoptions of Open Educational Resources continue.
The OER section of the course serves as a primer on finding, reviewing, and adopting OERs. Further, we see OERs as a decisive assertion of academic freedom, breaking away from conventional textbook packaging, which inextricably leads to undisclosed data harvesting by publishers.
-Colleen Harmon, Cuesta College
Expecting our students to “take the wheel” empowers them as learners and recognizes their agency as digital citizens. Combining active learning that many of us practice with the permissions of open licensing points us to the idea of Open Pedagogy. Yes, we can use openly licensed resources with while teaching, but also we can ask students to contribute and share their own knowledge and work within the world.
Examples of Open Pedagogy include:
- Adapt or remix OERs with students
- Ask students to help write test questions
- Teach students how to edit Wikipedia
- Construct with students class policies, assignments, rubrics, and calendars
In other words, we can engage our students transparently and humanely as co-learners–we don’t know everything about the topic, let alone about our students.
This post was made possible through a collaboration with @ONE—the Online Network of Educators—a collaborative, system-wide network of California Community College faculty, staff, and administrators. @ONE is coordinated by the professional development team of the CCC Online Education Initiative (OEI). @ONE provides training and professional development to support the effective use of digital tools and platforms to make California Community Colleges a nationally recognized leader in online teaching and learning.