For several years now many of us have been questioning ideas around digital citizenship in an open online conversation using #DigCiz. We have blogged and tweeted, held online video conversations, asked others to present or lead weeks worth of activities to try and tackle this subject as a whole and/or in part.

Recently, Michael Berman approached me with an idea for a proposal to lead an interactive presentation at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference that would center around a single question: What do we owe students when we collect their data? It occured to me that this was very much a question of digital citizenship; the question sings with an undercurrent of issues around rights and responsibilities in digital spaces.  Because of this we incorporated the idea of creating a #DigCiz burst around the session and that we would layer a twitter chat into the session itself. Along with George Station and Sundi Richard, we submitted the session proposal and we were accepted.

As we approach the session and chat, which will be held on November 2nd at the conference and online, we wanted to open the conversation a few weeks early and begin to generate thoughts. We hope that folks (especially students themselves) will blog, tweet and otherwise engage with this question and some sub-questions that we are considering using #DigCiz to connect the threads. The main question and sub questions we are considering are:

  • Data has value; what do we owe students when we collect their data?
  • Does the widespread and routine collection of student data in ever new and potentially more-invasive forms risk normalizing and numbing students to the potential privacy and security risks?
  • What is our responsibility as educators to increase students’ agency around their own data, so that they can better understand what these data could tell someone about them, ways these data could be used to benefit them or harm them, and what they are giving away when they consent to data collection.
  • How can our policy and decision-making frameworks keep up with the ever-increasing opportunity to collect and analyze student data?

Then, on November 2nd at 8am MDT (the time at the conference – which is: 7am PDT / 9am CDT / 10am EDT) we will deliver our session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. The in-person session will be simultaneously overlayed with a live twitter chat and video participation from those outside of the conference – creating a larger “room” that includes those physically present and those who are not. George Station will host the twitter chat and be our lead presenter on the virtual side while Michael, Sundi, and I lead the conversation onsite.

So, this is a call for engagement around these questions up till and during the session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. Participate how you feel you can express yourself best and use #DigCiz on twitter to share your expression or comment below. Again, I will reiterate that we are especially interested in the perspective of students themselves.


Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash