Category Archives: #digcitsummitUK

On The Record

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 8.24.38 PMAs we are finishing up this massive and totally awesome collaborative Pokémon Go project, I want to publicly go on the record and I’ve asked others to join me.

First, I have known William Jenkins for years. How many, I’m not exactly sure, but I’ve been moderating the #digcit chat since 2011 and prior to this tweet in November 2015, I always seemed too busy to respond to any of his email invitations to collaborate. What a big mistake.

The tweet with the link above was not only a jackpot site of digital citizenship resources via Malcolm Wilson, but it represents how William is always sharing resources with educators.

DigCitSummitUK TweetAfter this tweet, I responded and asked if he would like to Skype or GHO to talk about the possibility about bringing the Digital Citizenship Summit to the UK. We arranged a time to Skype and the rest is history.

Do you know what this picture below represents? It is a sextant, known as the most essential instrument for navigation. Since that first Skype call in November, William has been just that for me. Over the past ten months, I have been lucky enough to be part of two pirate crews with him (#DigCitSummitUK pirates and #ISTEPirates16) and most recently, I’ve been part of a Niantic crew with him collaborating on a #digcit Pokémon Go project.

cmgrWhat William brings to any project is vision and execution. His attention to detail is exquisite. William is like a conductor and he anticipates and prepares meticulously. What distinguishes William from the rest? His core values. He does not compromise. His core values and work ethic are beyond anything I have every witnessed before. One PLN member shared, “His work ethic is unsurpassed.” Others used terms like visionary leader, selfless giver and influencer. All agreed that no one should ever pass up an opportunity to collaborate with William in the future.

I reached out to some PLN members and they echoed my thoughts:

Best New Community Manager

5 Minute Favor For William Jenkins: A Selfless Giver

As a mother and educator, my last acknowledgment comes from the bottom of my heart.

William, thank you for inspiring Curran. As a nine year old, his connected learning journey began with your DigCitSummitUK Thunderclap which was the beginning of his @CurranCentral Twitter handle. That thunderclap has led to him moderating multiple chats on Twitter, speaking and live tweeting at the DigCitSummitUK and TEDxYouth, becoming a student Buncee ambassador and now CKO of DigCitKids. Thank you for also continuing to inspire him to think outside of the box and create homework assignments like the Pokémon Go Homework Challenge and most recently, the 9 #digcit elements in relation to Poké Balls.

So, on the record, I am so grateful to call you a friend, a colleague and my favorite community manager.

Digital Citizenship Summit Heads to Twitter HQ in October

Unexpectedkindness is themost powerful,least costly, andmost underratedagent of humanchangeThis week’s announcement about the Digital Citizenship Summit being held at Twitter Headquarters on 28 October is such an incredible opportunity for the entire digital citizenship global community that I wanted to write this post to thank all the people who have supported us from the very beginning. There have so many people behind the scenes, volunteers, speakers, and supporters from around the globe. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being part of this critical conversation and continuing to move it forward into your classrooms and communities.

Believing that nothing happens in a vacuum or by accident, I also wanted to write this post to thank all the people who have personally supported me from the very beginning of my digital citizenship journey. I am indebted to numerous people for casting light on my journey and am so grateful to my PLN for graciously sharing their time, talent and passion with my students over the years.

For me, the making of the Digital Citizenship Summit happened long before our inaugural event last October at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. In fact, my journey started years ago before I even had my first email address or mobile device. As a middle school teacher, I was always student-centered and focused on meeting the developmental needs of young adolescents. My interest in amplifying student voice has always been my True North and reason behind any and all decisions I’ve made during my educational career.

Although Tyler Clementi was the student who changed my perspective and inspired me to change my practice, he was never a student in my classroom.

I did not know Tyler, but his suicide made me determined to focus on a solution. Tyler Clementi could be my son, your son. He was a brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, neighbor, and most importantly, a human being. This perspective launched me into uncharted territory. I am the mother of a son. What if this was my son? What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? How can I make a difference?

In many ways, Tyler Clementi was the impetus behind my First Year Seminar course, Pleased to Tweet You: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen? My definition of digital citizenship is a direct result of the iCitizen Project which asks students to think and act at a local, global and digital level simultaneously. By 2011, I was tired of digital citizenship being an add-on to the curriculum, as well as edtech and bullying conferences. I knew digital citizenship needed its own space and that’s why I created and designed 3 credit courses specifically around the nine elements of digital citizenship at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In February 2012, I also planned and hosted my first livestreamed event, the iCitizenship Town Hall Meeting for both a live and virtual audience and just like the Digital Citizenship Summit, none of this would have been possible without the support of countless people.

As I reflect on the people who have supported me, I am reminded of just how many students and educators have virtually joined my digital citizenship courses and participated in the #digcit chat on Twitter over the years. Week after week, members of my PLN graciously shared their time, talent and passion with my students through Twitter, Skype and Google Hangout. I could seriously write a book on the entire experience, but for this blog post, I’ll share one of my favorite virtual guests, Jeremiah Anthony, a high school student from Iowa. Jeremiah Skyped and live tweeted, Stand Up & Speak Out with Digital Citizenship with my undergraduates. He demonstrated how it takes just one person to make a difference in your community both on and offline.

There have been so many people over the years who have been that one person to me and I just want to publicly thank anyone who has ever supported me through all my digital citizenship courses, projects, Twitter chats and conferences, including the iCitizenship Town Hall Meeting, Digital Citizenship Summit and the Digital Citizenship Summit UK. It has been a privilege and an honor to learn alongside a global network of students, educators, parents and the edtech industry as we collectively continue to solve problems and create solutions together.

So, from my middle school classroom in the early 90’s to my college campus in West Hartford to Bournemouth Univeristy in the UK to Twitter Headquarters — thank you, thank you for being part of this incredible journey.

My heart is full.

My True North #digcitsummit #DigCitSummitUK

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

True North
At a very young age, I learned that ‘True North’ is the ultimate goal in life. Finding True North is essential for accurate navigation both literally and figuratively. In this journey called life, we often find ourselves unsure which path or decision to take and/or make. Finding our ‘True North’ enables us to stay the course and be true to our core values.

My Uncle Ron, a Marine and Boston firefighter reinforced True North by living the motto, “It’s not what you do; it’s what you are willing to do.” This is my core. This is my True North and everything I stand for and believe.

Not surprisingly, this is also the core of the Digital Citizenship Summit which just hosted the inaugural national conference in focused exclusively on digital citizenship. As citizens of today’s networked world, digcitsummit has put digital citizenship before technology and has highlighted the positive and practical solutions towards being SAFE, SAVVY, and ETHICAL.

The speakers, attendees and volunteers we attracted came because they wanted to be a part of this new paradigm. Our True North was created because of the people involved which included all stakeholders: educators, students, administrators, parents, media specialists and librarians, industry and business leaders, counselors, coaches, community members, etc.  

What was the one common link?  Everyone who helped make digcitsummit the #1 national trend on Twitter that day was leading by example on what it truly means to think and act at a local, global and digital level simultaneously.   Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 4.18.54 PM

As we continue to build upon the foundation already created and established at the digcitsummit, True North will continue to lead the way and it will continue to set us apart from other conferences. 

Over the last five weeks, I’ve met some incredibly passionate people who were drawn to what we have created. As the digcitsummit began with a tweet, so did the planning for our first international #DigCitSummitUK. One tweet and a Skype call with William Jenkins has led to an overwhelming international response. It is clear that the digcitsummit has struck a nerve and is a universal need around the world.Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 2.13.23 PM

We hope you will join us on 23 January 2016 at Bournemouth University. For more information, please follow @digcitsummit and register for updates at Seats are limited, so reserve your tickets now.



Connected Educator Appreciation Day #CEduAD

5In preparation for #CyberMonday, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to count my lucky stars and thank my amazing PLN!

For me, my journey as a connected educator began in a third grade classroom.  One of my graduate students, Tracy Mercier invited me to participate in a technology event that her students had organized. It must have been sometime in 2009 when her third graders with netbooks knew more about being socially responsible online than I did. It was, in fact, the first time I was aware that I was being Googled and I held my breath as the third graders checked out my digital footprint. I thought to myself if these third graders are in my classroom one day, how will I be able to meet their needs as connected students?

And so my journey began with students — my own graduate student and her third graders. What a fantastic introduction to the world of connected learning.

Tomorrow, I hope you will share your story and recognize and thank the connected educators in your life using the #CEduAD hashtag!

In the spirit of giving, I also wonder what we can give back and pay forward to those connected educators who give so much of themselves freely and without hesitation to their students, colleagues, and the profession as a whole?

I’ll end with my one of my favorite teaching quotes from the Prince of Tides.  The main character, Tom is a high school English teacher and football coach and towards the end of the book, his sister accuses him of being a failure. She says, “You sold yourself short. You could’ve been more than a teacher and a coach.” To which Tom replies: “Listen to me. There’s no word in the English language I revere more than teacher. None. My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher and it always has. I’ve honored myself and the entire family by becoming one.”

Every time, I read that passage I become ten feet tall, my heart starts pumping, my shoulders go back and I’m standing proud — I am a teacher and better yet, I’m a connected educator!

Please pay it forward tomorrow, reflect on your own journey, and let all the connected educators in your life know how much they mean to you, our students and profession! #CEduAD



Planning the 1st International #DigCitSummit in Scotland #DigCitSummitUK

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 4.18.54 PMAlmost two months ago, the Digital Citizenship Summit, #DigCitSummit was the #1 national trend on Twitter. How did we get it to trend? Easy. We created an event that people wanted to attend and tweet about.

We struck a nerve that day. Both our live and virtual audiences were actively engaged and interested in collaborating and networking around the concepts of being safe, ethical and savvy. It was the start of the #DigCitSummit revolution — #bethedigitalchange.

#Since our event on October 3rd, I’ve tweeted, emailed, voxed and skyped with numerous people about bringing the #DigCitSummit to a variety of different locations.

Last week, on a train to Washington, D.C. to attend FOSI, I had a Skype call with William Jenkins and the idea of #DigCitSummitUK became a reality. Planning began immediately over our hour plus Skype: Digital Citizenship Summit UK and DigCitSummitUK: Going Live. The best part of the planning since that Skype call? William has not made one single phone call to make this a reality. Nope, not one. As all the signs were suggesting — the days of cold calling are dead.

In less than a fortnight, we have created quite a stir on Twitter, as well as a list of possible speakers and sponsors. The location has been decided and #DigCitSummitUK will be hosted at Larbert High School in Stenhousemuir, Scotland sometime in January/February 2016. We are close to announcing a date in between two technology events in the UK — BETT and the Learning Technologies Conference.

As we continue to plan for the 1st international #DigCitSummit, please help us get the word out, generate interest and create a buzz in the social media world. Let’s get #DigCitSummitUK trending before the event even happens!

And…stay tuned…more to announce in the weeks to come, but to get a better understanding of how William is making this happen, please read There’s No App for Patience: Good Things Come to Those who Hustle While They Wait.