Monday, November 26, 2018

AEA Online Learning Supports Iowa Digital Learning Plan: Digital Citizenship

As many of you are aware, Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Education (Department), Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the American Institute for Research (AIR) and many stakeholders. (See document here).

AEA Learning Online has many opportunities for districts to use in support of this Digital Learning Plan. We will now discuss is how we support Digital Citizenship for teacher and students.

According to the IDLP,  colleges should Rethink Teacher Preparation.  “Education is constantly changing.  Teacher preparation programs are an important part of making sure that our future educators have a solid foundation of not only teaching and learning but also learning about how to use technology.  Technology to help students learn and grow as learners and digital citizens in and out of the classroom.  “ This is also true of those currently in the field.

By Fostering Ongoing Professional Learning districts support the IDLP “Professional learning and development programs should transition to support and develop educators’ identities as fluent users of technology; creative and collaborative problem solvers; and adaptive, socially aware experts throughout their careers.” “Programs also should address challenges when it comes to using technology learning: ongoing professional development should be job embedded and available just in time.”

A National Recommendation adopted by Iowa suggests that districts “Provide pre-service and in-service educators with professional learning experiences powered by technology to increase their digital literacy and enable them to create compelling learning activities that improve learning and teaching, assessment, and instructional practices.” By designing pre- and in-service professional learning opportunities that are aligned specifically with technology expectations outlined within state standards and that are reflective of the increased connectivity of and access to devices in schools.

Districts should also think about “Instructional Practices for Student-Centered, Personalized Learning.”  “The majority of Iowa districts are 1:1 which changes the way teaching and learning happen within classrooms and beyond the classroom walls.  As access to technology increases, so does the importance of guiding students to use technology in a  “meaningful, productive, respectful, and safe” way in and out of the classroom.  A basic understanding for the teacher is a great way to start. “

In support of the IDLP and Iowa Core 21st Century standards, AEA Learning Online offers a Digital Citizenship Course within the Training System ( for one license renewal credit, or individual modules can be taken without credit or cost.  Within the course, teachers will gain a basic understanding of Digital Security, Digital Netiquette, Digital Literacy, and Cyberbullying and Online Safety.  These core topics are essential for teachers to help guide the learning and help students make good choices when navigating our connected world.

Once teachers have a better understanding of digital citizenship topics, districts then could move toward how students navigate the digital world as digital citizens. Providing students opportunities to practice with teachers and other students, learn important topics, use curriculum that best meets the needs of all learners, and facilitate discussions with students in a safe place about their digital footprint.

AEA Learning Online offers Digital Citizenship modules for students to take on our Student Personalized Learning System (  The SPLS has content for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  The K-8 grade content is based on Common Sense Media’s digital citizenship curriculum and offers students further opportunities to share, watch videos, and discuss as a class. The K-8 content also has an added feature of the modules being read aloud for those students who may need extra support.  The 9-12 content is based on Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship.  It supports safety and appropriate technology use in these areas:
●    Digital Commerce
●    Digital Communication
●    Digital Health and Wellness
●    Digital Law, Rights and Responsibilities
●    Digital Literacy
●    Digital Netiquette
●    Digital Security
Districts and teachers can assign any or all of this content to students as desired.

If you have interest in any of the above learning opportunities for yourself or your staff, contact AEA Learning Online at  or Denise Krefting ( or Melissa Wicklund (

Look for the next post where we will discuss how AEA Learning Online supports Open Educational Resources discussed in the IDLP.

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