Understanding Digital Citizenship

Alec Couros was the speaker in Changemooc this week.

He is clearly a popular speaker and there were a number of people attending who obviously regarded him with a great deal of affection.

Alec talked about digital citizenship in terms of Cyber-safety (keeping safe and being able to discern truth from hoaxes and myths); Memes (value laden digital viruses); Copyright/copyleft (we used to consume information, now we produce, remix, share); Network Literacy; Identity (81% of children under the age of two have some form of digital footprint and some even have a footprint before birth); and Activism. See http://mooc.wikispaces.com/couros

Alec hasn’t posted his slides yet – but there are plenty more here – but as he told us and exemplified he has developed his own style of online presentation, which I think was very effective. You certainly couldn’t get bored. He had a lot of slides, but a lot of those were simply images. Text on the slides was limited – and he talked over his slides with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm. Perhaps most impressive was the number of videos he asked us to view during his presentation, which kept it interesting and lively. I think he must spend an awful lot of time online and particularly viewing videos as he seems to be all over the web.

Whilst there was a lot in his presentation that was new to me and fascinating, there were a couple of things that left me questioning.

The first was that during the presentation, the videos that were shown and many photos, left me with the word ‘voyeurism’ floating in my head. I felt as though I was being introduced into people’s lives where I had no right to be.  It left me wondering to what extent the internet encourages us to be ‘voyeurs’.

The second was that I wonder how ethical it is to share another person’s identity online – particularly if that person is a child. I have questioned this before in a discussion with Dean Shareski

I know with absolute certainty that I would not like people to be sharing personal details about me online without my knowledge, understanding or agreement and I doubt that children are in a position to agree to this.  It’s not that I have never mentioned my children online – I have, but I do not understand why a personal communication of love between a parent and child needs to be conducted in view of the whole world. Alec showed one such example of a father sending online messages to his newborn and growing child. What I don’t like about this is that the child cannot object to this. The child doesn’t even know the effect that this might have on their identity and is in no position to control it.

So I do not think that digital citizenship means that you have to be ‘watching’ the lives of people you do not even know, or that you have to share the details of your nearest and dearest with the whole world.

First Steps in Learning and Teaching MOOC – Update

This is a new MOOC due to run from 21st May to 22nd June 2012.  It is aimed at new lecturers, people entering higher education teaching from other sectors, postgraduate students who teach and experienced lecturers who would like to update and share their knowledge and expertise.

George Roberts , Marion Waite   and I have been planning this MOOC since February and things are moving on nicely, not least because we now have three more people on our team.

Joe Rosa , from Oxford University  and

Liz Lovegrove   from Oxford Brookes University…..

….are both helping us with all matters technical.

Sylvia Currie , from BCcampus has very kindly offered us the use of her Blackboard Collaborate platform  for our synchronous sessions. We can’t thank Sylvia enough for her very generous offer.

Last week we had a full day F2F planning meeting in Oxford. The outcomes of our decisions are being captured on the development of this WordPress site which will serve as the ‘Homepage’ for the course.  The site is still a work in progress, but if you are interested in this MOOC, you might like to visit it to find out more.

We will also be using a Moodle site for discussions and structuring the course, and a wiki for collaborative work. These will be linked to from the WordPress site, and of course, in true MOOC spirit, we are expecting activity and engagement to be distributed across the web according to individual participant preferences.

Course schedule, dates and events of note for your diary

Here is the schedule http://openbrookes.net/firststeps12/schedule/ with dates of the live synchronous sessions

And we are delighted to confirm three guest speakers:

Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner,  “Theory, pedagogy, and identity in higher-ed teaching.” Wednesday 06 June, 2012, 1500 BST

Dave White,   ”The impact on teachers of open educational resources and open academic practice in the digital university.” Wednesday 13 June, 2012, 1500 BST

We will continue to post updates – but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.