Home > CO335, compsci, Hotchkiss, roger, teaching > Wed 6/22: Outline for Digital Citizenship

Wed 6/22: Outline for Digital Citizenship

I’m redesigning my applications course this summer for a few reasons: (a) after eight years of teaching the same suite, things are feeling pretty stale; and (b) I never really enjoyed teaching it that much in the first place. Instead, I’ve decided to replace it with a new course named “Digital Citizenship”. Here’s the description that I posted in the course catalog:


CO335   Digital Citizenship
This course teaches students how to express themselves effectively and responsibly on the Internet using a variety of current computer-based technologies. Topics covered include blogs, audio and video podcasts, social networking, wikis, microblogging, cloud computing, and web design. In addition to creating content using these tools, students will also study how they are currently being used and their effects on our society.


Currently the course is scheduled for the first semester, which is 12 weeks. I’ve just started fleshing out the basic structure for the semester, but here is my plan thus far:

Dates   Application
  Week 1 Blogging
  Week 2 Microblogging
  Week 3 Social networks
  Week 4 Cloud computing
  Week 5 Wikis
  Week 6 Reassessment
  Week 7 Audio podcasts
  Week 8 Audio podcasts
  Week 9 Video podcasts
  Week 10 Video podcasts
  Week 11 Final project
  Week 12 Final project


Any comments?

  1. June 24, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I like this outline—what are your thoughts for the final project? Will it be individual or collaborative? I would think a course like this really has the potential to pull boarding school students outside the “bubble” and help them to engage the world around them. That might be one of the standards by which students are assessed—do they make an authentic connection with someone from the outside world.

    Also, did you see this recent blog about similar efforts at the Dwight school in the NYT?

  2. rwistar
    June 24, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Thanks for the link — it does look like they are going down some of the same roads. I don’t think this course as constructed is particularly innovative; it’s probably incorporated in parts or as a whole in more than one public school curriculum. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel, either. I just haven’t branched out yet to find out whose shoulders I might stand upon for this first effort.

    As for the final project, my thought was that I would try to give all my students a taste of online advocacy. They would need to choose some cause that they would like to promote, and then design and implement a social media campaign to champion it. They would need to include several (but not all) of the units that we covered, depending on what they think is most effective. For example, they might create a blog, a Twitter feed, and an audio podcast. And they will probably have to also do some self-reflection to defend their choices.

  3. June 25, 2011 at 3:08 am

    I like the advocacy project idea. Have you seen Owen’s Technical and Social Foundations of the Internet Course? It seems to me that the ideas Owen is laying out in this course are exactly the direction a lot of “digital literacy” courses need to go, but I think the problem is, too few teachers have the background and understanding of CS to be able to pull something like this off.

  4. rwistar
    July 3, 2011 at 1:43 am

    That’s interesting. I’ll check it out more fully. It seems like his course is focused more specifically on a lot of the legal issues surrounding the Internet. I’m hoping to focus a little more generally on more of the social implications of some of these technologies. But I’m sure there’s a lot of overlap, and I’m definitely not looking to reinvent the wheel!

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