Date of Conferral
Donna B. Gee
Limited research has focused on the knowledge, beliefs, and professional practices of elementary educators related to digital citizenship. The purpose of this study was to identify elementary educators' knowledge and beliefs about digital citizenship, as well as understand their plans and implemented practices, supports, and barriers related to digital citizenship instruction. This study was grounded in Mezirow's theory of transformative learning, Siemen's theory of connectivism, and Ribble's concept of digital citizenship. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data collected from an original survey instrument developed from the literature by the researcher. Participants were recruited using publicly accessible email addresses and the monthly newsletter from Hawaii Society for Technology Education; a total of 74 educators completed the survey. All educators in the district who met the demographic criteria of working at the elementary level as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, or technology coordinator were welcome to participate in the study. Data were analyzed for frequencies and percentages to develop generalized statements about the population. The results indicated, on average, that educators rated themselves with high knowledge and beliefs about digital citizenship concepts with the exception of digital law. Additionally, correlational analysis revealed schools with greater adoption rates of 1:1 technology-device integration had a significant impact on professional practices in digital citizenship implementation and overall instructional practices. This research study contributes to positive social change by helping educational leaders identify what is needed to support educators in teaching with digital citizenship, and especially in supporting those educators in schools which are further behind in adopting 1:1 technology integration.