Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Digital Citizenship District-Wide: Examining the Organizational Evolution of an Initiative
by Monterosa, Vanessa M., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 123; 10286695
Abstract (Summary)

District leaders play a pivotal role in shaping federally-mandated policies that impact how digital citizenship curriculum is developed and implemented in schools. Yet, for many school leaders, teaching about digital participation may appear as a daunting and unfamiliar practice. In fact, most educators do not participate in digital communities, in contrast to the large number of youth who do. Over 1,200 district administrators from across the nation reported that they ban collaborative digital spaces such as social media in the classroom due to safety, privacy, and classroom management concerns. Yet, emerging research demonstrates that when students are given a structured opportunity to experience digital engagement in productive and constructive ways, students become producers rather than consumers of content and are able to develop an understanding of their digital participation in relation to their participation in society.

For educators who want to delve into digital citizenship, there currently exists a plethora of resources to support teachers in classroom-level integration of digital citizenship, but supports and resources for system-level, implementation remain limited. Moreover, these resources represent varied conceptualizations of digital citizenship, which results in inconsistent implementations of digital citizenship across classrooms, schools, and districts. Thus, how can district leaders such as superintendents, chief academic officers, or chief technology officers provide a cohesive and comprehensive digital citizenship program when the very conceptualization of digital citizenship remains unclear?

The purpose of this study was to utilize a case study approach to examine a large, urban school district’s approach to defining, developing, and maintaining a digital citizenship initiative focused on empowering students over the course of four years. By documenting and unpacking the elements of a district-wide approach to digital citizenship, this study provides a foundation for systemic practices and a common language aimed at informing organizational policy and practice. Despite the concept of digital citizenship being in its infancy, this study provides an organizational perspective of its conceptualization and implementation across a large system. Findings revealed that the district’s complex organizational efforts were rooted in political and symbolic decisions that facilitated the influence of digital citizenship across policy and program implementation efforts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hsieh, Betina
Commitee: Lee, Clifford, O'Brien, Jonathan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, Educational technology, Information science
Keywords: Critical media literacy, Digital citizenship, District leadership, Organizational leadership, Participatory practices, Social media
Publication Number: 10286695
ISBN: 9780355084726
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