A Google search for social responsibility yielded 949 million results which indicate people are writing about and exploring the term social responsibility. Digging deeper and creating my definition of social responsibility involves how individuals cooperate and ethically interacts with society. Educators have a huge part to play in equipping learners to understand social responsibility.
According to Dunn and Doolittle (2020), the teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) model encourages behavior modification and relationship-building as the start to teaching social responsibility. Additionally, they suggested incorporating service-learning into courses to model social responsibility.
To prepare learners for society outside of the classroom, educators should model socially responsible behavior and allow students to demonstrate socially responsible behavior by incorporating opportunities in the curriculum (Richards et al., 2020). Another example educators could model for students is to make sure their electronic footprint reflects the same standards they would hold their students. Ensuring the electronic footprint is uplifting and encouraging is one way to model behavior. Even if an educator thinks their social media page is private, there are so many ways that a so-called private post becomes public (Fagell, 2018).
Richards et al. (2020) suggest allowing students opportunities to learn by doing and get feedback and correction along the way. Educators are not the only ones responsible for modeling socially responsible behavior, so are parents and other adults in society. The more students witness socially responsible behavior, the more equipped and empowered they will be to carry out that same behavior.
Dunn, R. J., & Doolittle, S. A. (2020). Professional development for teaching personal and social responsibility: Past, present, and future. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 39(3), 347-356.
Fagell, P. L. (2018, October). Teachers and social media: A cautionary tale about the risks. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(2), 68. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A562866823/BIC?u=vic_liberty&sid=BIC&xid=e9071403
Richards, K. A. R., Jacobs, J. M., Ivy, V. N., & Lawson, M. A. (2020). Preservice teachers perspectives and experiences teaching personal and social responsibility. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 25(2), 188-200.
Blockchain is an emerging technology that developed out of the use of Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is based on a decentralized system. This means that no third party must conduct the transaction; most transactions operate in a centralized system, meaning a third party is needed to complete the transaction. The goal is to create integrity in the transactions by providing security and anonymity. Blockchain technology was introduced with Bitcoin cryptocurrency and has evolved to different industries, including education (Harthy et al., 2019; Yli-Huumo et al., 2016).
According to Harthy et al. (2019), blockchain is secured data divided into blocks. These blocks are secured databases meshed to form a chain of data. As blockchain grows in popularity, various industries are looking for innovative ways to use the technology, and education is no different. Some creative ways higher education administration is looking to use blockchain is for transactions that deal with certificates/degrees, data, and money transactions. Also, they are looking to use the technology to secure students' records and profiles (Harthy et al., 2019).
Blockchain can be used to transfer paper certificates to digital certificates. Additionally, blockchain can be used for securing student records.
Currently, there are a few universities worldwide experimenting with this technology. It is sure to continue to grow as higher ed leaders, and administrators look for ways to implement blockchain security features into operations and academics (Harthy et al., 2019; Yli-Huumo et al., 2016).
Al Harthy, K., Al Shuhaimi, F., & Al Ismaily, K. K. J. (2019, January). The upcoming Blockchain adoption in Higher-education: requirements and process. In 2019 4th MEC international conference on big data and smart city (ICBDSC) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
Yli-Huumo, J., Ko, D., Choi, S., Park, S., & Smolander, K. (2016). Where is current research on blockchain technology?—a systematic review. PloS one, 11(10), e0163477.
According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Educators describes digital citizenship as one of the standards to incorporate into curriculums. This standard focuses on educators inspiring students to contribute responsibly to and participate in the digital world. The goal is to create experiences for learners to understand how to interact socially responsibly and empathetically build community with other digital users. Additionally, educators should strive to establish a learning culture that embraces digital literacy and walks students through how to critically analyze online content by allowing them opportunities to practice using digital tools safely, legally, and ethically. Finally, the standard calls for educators to model their behavior, hoping students will grasp and apply it during technology usage (ISTE.org).
This is an enormous task for educators, but learners must become competent and savvy digital citizens to prepare to be productive life-long learners and citizens. It is no longer optional. Educators will need to secure help from parents and other stakeholders to ensure learners understand the importance of being good digital citizens. Also, by assisting students in this journey, the adult stakeholders will also learn the value of being a good digital citizen.
To ensure success in any field, it will be vital that learners competently navigate the digital landscape. Digital citizenship in the 21st century is necessary for everyone, whether you are a younger learner, an adult learner, or a workforce learner.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2021). Educators Standard 3. www.iste.org
Data is all around us and is growing at an alarming rate. Many companies use data to help with marketing efforts. Some lawmakers argue that an individual owning their data should be a fundamental right (Tisne, 2018). With the use of smartphones tracking data, every move made is now traceable, and the results can manifest in a variety of ways, including ways that may be detrimental to one's physical safety and personal information. According to Tinse, the current laws do not provide adequate protection, and as a result, more attention needs to be paid to developing legislation around data protection rights. Taylor (2017) referred to it as data justice, which is referred to as fairness in the way people are represented and treated due to their digital data.
Although this is an emerging topic, it is becoming more visible to lawmakers and businesses. Taylor (2017) suggests that there are three pillars to data justice, and those are visibility, engagement with technology, and non-discrimination. Visibility involves access to representation and informational privacy. While engagement with technology involves sharing data's benefits and autonomy of tech choices. Finally, non-discrimination takes into consideration the ability to challenge bias and preventing discrimination. According to Taylor (2017), the proposed categories present another way to think about data.
According to Ma et al. (2018), one solution to handle the vast amount of data is through the implementation of blockchain. Blockchain is considered a growing field, and to simplify the explanation; it provides a network of computers to house encrypted private information. This appears to be a viable option that is worth exploring. The problem is that blockchain options have not penetrated the consumer markets and would be challenging for consumers to use them. Businesses are starting to explore ways to utilize blockchain technology to protect their data. Data justice or data privacy is an emerging topic, more information will sure to be available as legislation is passed, and more consumers become concerned with how their data is being used, sold, and manipulated for profits.
Taylor, L. (2017). What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally. Big Data & Society, 4(2), 2053951717736335
Ma, Z., Jiang, M., Gao, H., & Wang, Z. (2018). Blockchain for digital rights management. Future Generation Computer Systems, 89, 746-764
Tisne, M. (2018). It's time for a bill of data rights. MIT Technology Review, https://www. technologyreview. com/s/612588/its-time-for-a-bill-of-data-rights/
Media fluency, also known as media literacy, is one of the 21st-century skills for learners today. Digital media is a vital part of our everyday lives, and it is the gatekeeper to the amount of information we intake, whether good or bad. Therefore, consumers of the information need to understand how to evaluate the overwhelming amount of information and the importance of how it is processed (Bulger & Davison, 2018).
According to Valtonen et al. (2019), media literacy is necessary for students to understand and flourish. Our daily lives revolve around the use of digital tools, and the more students are equipped, the better they will be in navigating digital media in their daily lives. Additionally, as students move to different educational levels or into the workforce, they will meet expectations that they understand how to use digital media and use it to enhance their lives, which is profitable for their employers.
There are three main issues surrounding media literacy. The first is media literacy should encompass all forms of media, the second is that media literacy should be considered a skill and knowledge. Finally, when used appropriately, media literacy should improve users' lives by extending more control over how media influences them (Valtonen et al.,2019). Understanding that media literacy includes all forms of media is vital for educators to articulate to the learner. Helping learners process and think about the angle that the information is being presented is one way to help learners critically think about how the content. Valtonen et al. (2019) indicate that critical thinking is an essential component in evaluating media and should be exercised each time one views or uses media.
Resources available to help educators fully comprehend the nuances around media literacy are available at:
Valtonen, T., Tedre, M., Mäkitalo, K., & Vartiainen, H. (2019). Media literacy education in the age of machine learning. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 20-36.
Bulger, M., & Davison, P. (2018). The promises, challenges, and futures of media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 10(1), 1-21.
Establishing a learning culture in the organization is not just about learning it is about creating an environment of open-mindedness and sharing. Learning culture stemmed from organizational leadership studies from the 1990s and 2000s and is now resurfacing in organizations, especially as the pandemic forced many organizations to pivot quickly (Learning Insights, 2018). By the name, one would think that creating a learning culture has to do with creating more learning opportunities via formal courses. However, it involves creating a culture that can take information from the outside and turn it into actions with the organization, keyword ACTION. It is not about learning for the sake of learning but learning to take bold action. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) defines learning culture as “a collective, dynamic system of basic assumptions, values, and norms which direct the learning of people within an organization.”
According to Nigel Paine on building a learning culture (Learning Insights, 2018), he discusses five ways to create a Learning Culture. Those five steps include staff engagement, technology, autonomy, trust, respect, and space. After digging deeper into the learning culture theory, I was intrigued by how each of these steps plays a role in creating a learning culture, especially staff engagement, technology, and autonomy. Research suggests that a learning culture is one where learning is consistently happening, so engagement, technology, and autonomy are needed for employees. To create a learning culture, leadership needs to reflect on if their organization is ready to adopt a learning culture. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) introduced a model for analyzing learning culture, which includes a series of questions:
Huang (2016) describes e-learning in a learning culture environment and believes that eLearning supports learning at a higher level across the organization by providing flexibility and the ability to reach employees worldwide. As organizations strategize the next steps to grow, pivot, and adapt to changes post-pandemic, it is vital to create a solid learning culture so that employees can thrive in the 21st century, ultimately impacting the bottom line and success of organizations.
Learning Insights (2018, October 26). How organizations build a learning culture. [Video] YouTube. https://youtu.be/yOCEoaf_tTA
van Breda-Verduijn, H., & Heijboer, M. (2016). Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Yoo, S. J., & Huang, W. D. (2016). Can e‐learning system enhance learning culture in the workplace? A comparison among companies in South Korea. British journal of educational technology, 47(4), 575-591.
If you conduct a Google search of social responsibility, there are hundreds of million results which led me to think more about social responsibility in my terms. Social responsibility, in my opinion, is doing sustainable, consistent actions that will impact and equip others to flourish in life. As educators, it is our responsibility to model social responsibility for all learners. That means being committed to being a lifelong learner, being transparent, being a leader, being courageous to challenge the status quo for the sake of our learners. It means being critical thinkers and being inquisitive and hungry for truth no matter the cost. It means being innovative and looking for new and exciting ways to challenge our learners (Camerino et al., 2019; Davis et al., 2017).
Modeling the behavior we want to see in the world is imperative to influence young minds, because they grow up to be adults who will influence the world. As educators of young people, a teacher's role is probably one of the most critical roles in a young person's life. Many of us remember at least one teacher who has inspired us in and outside the classroom. It may have been a formal teacher in a school or a community teacher such as a scout leader, pastor, or Sunday school teacher.
Christian educators should play an even more significant role because we have the playbook to guide us, written by the best teacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ. As we rely on Him and allow Him to guide us, He has given us the roadmap to navigate the world and has given us examples of how to do so socially responsibly. Many of us do not allow Him to guide us and instead lean on our understanding instead of His. John 14:12-14 (New Living Translation) says that we should be doing even greater things, and I believe Christ knew the tools and resources we would have in 2021 to use in pursuing socially responsible behavior. I believe we can accomplish all the things that make teachers socially responsible if led by the Holy Spirit.
Davis, S. L., Rives, L. M., & de Maya, S. R. (2017). Introducing personal social responsibility as a key element to upgrade CSR. Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC, 21(2), 146-163.
Camerino, O., Valero-Valenzuela, A., Prat, Q., Manzano Sánchez, D., & Castañer, M. (2019). Optimizing education: a mixed methods approach oriented to Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR). Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1439.