This Week’s Struggle: the BHAG

Dear Teachers,
Remember last week when I wrote that “the person doing the work is the person doing the learning”? Well, I’ve apparently been doing a LOT of learning this week, as I once again have faced a challenging grad school topic. This blog has become my outlet for reflecting on All Things Grad School. I love the program, and love what I’m learning in the program. At the same time, I have struggled mightily with many of the assignments, and continue to be stretched and challenged in ways that often make me want to say “Uncle.” The current class I’m wrestling with is titled “Creating Significant Learning Environments.”


This week, the task has been to create a BHAG – a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. I was not familiar with that term at all before this class. (Another thing I’m learning in this grad program is that here is apparently an endless list of Terms I Am Not Familiar With.) In a previous class I had to come up with a WIG – a Wildly Important Goal. The BHAG and the WIG are related, but a bit different. I’m not sure I’m able yet to articulate the precise ways that they differ, but I try to be patient about things being fuzzy before they come into focus. (I am an “All Shall Be Revealed in Time” kind of person, I guess, if there is such a thing. I tend to be okay with a state of not-knowing, as I know that there will come a time when things make sense to me. I have collected the dots, but not yet connected the dots, another point we have touched on in class this week. But I digress…)

If you know me at all, you know that my twin passions are Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship. I am widening my perspective on my Innovation Plan from focusing only on student-created content to developing a course for teachers that will help them gain a better understanding of the importance of digital literacy and digital citizenship. I want better digital citizenship for the entire universe, so that kids have way better role models than what they often see now for how they should interact online. That goal seems perhaps the tiniest bit too grandiose. So, my ever-evolving BHAG for a course for the grown-ups is:

Learners will be equipped with tools to improve their own digital literacy and digital citizenship, and will create authentic opportunities for their students to develop positive digital habits.
So while students are working to create content that will help others in the community learn basic digital skills, the adults in the district will have an opportunity to take an online course that will help them to better understand the issues involved in integrating digital literacy and digital citizenship principles into their teaching. I’m thinking that could be a pretty powerful combination towards bringing about improved digital literacy & citizenship for everyone in our community. Also, because many teachers will likely have technology goals as part of their teacher evaluation system (T-TESS), this course could provide a natural support for some of those goals.

I learned about a 3-column table model for planning courses. The 3-column table uses Fink’s (2003) Taxonomy of Significant Learning to look at the interplay between different kinds of learning:


Once the Learning outcomes have been determined, then the other two columns (Learning Activities and Assessments) are filled in. As of today, my 3-column table for my Digital Literacy/Citizenship course looks like this:


Learning Goals Learning Activities Assessment Activities

Learners will identify and articulate why all teachers should incorporate digital literacy and digital citizenship instruction in their subject areas.
Learners will identify areas for personal improvement in understanding digital literacy & digital citizenship.

Complete an assessment tool such as
Use the student-created site CLICK (developing at for learning tech tips
Create an infographic or other product outlining 3-5 personal goals for improving digital literacy and/or digital citizenship.
Develop a rationale for why and how digital literacy and digital citizenship should be taught.

Learners will identify and assess different approaches to digital literacy and digital citizenship education, and will assess how the two concepts are related.

Analyze different approaches to digital citizenship education.
Explain the relationship between digital literacy and digital citizenship
Determine personal digital literacy/citizenship goals.
Create a plan for linking and teaching digital literacy and digital citizenship in the learner’s situation.

Learners will be able to identify, analyze and evaluate examples of digital literacy and digital citizenship, and will develop authentic engagement opportunities for their students.

Identify ways to weave digital literacy and digital citizenship into what is already happening in the classroom, without either seeming like an “add-on.” Discuss and critique a successful, authentic integration of digital citizenship into a lesson.
Human Dimension/Caring

Learners will evaluate the impact of good and poor digital citizenship on all community members.

Locate examples of negative/detrimental posts and reflect on the impact that this type of interaction has:

-on the writer of the post;

-on the recipient(s) of the post; and

-on digital culture.
Locate examples of positive interactions, beneficial social action, and/or constructive disagreements and reflect on the impact that this type of interaction has:

-on the writer/originator;

-on the recipients; and

-on digital culture

Reflective blog post on how good and/or poor digital citizenship has impacted self and others. Discuss ways of becoming a digital culture change agent.
Learning How to Learn

Learners will locate, evaluate and compile resources that will help them to identify current and future opportunities for digital literacy and digital citizenship instruction.
Learners will recognize opportunities for teachable moments in digital citizenship in everything they do.

Organize resources that you have identified as being especially helpful to you in increasing your understanding of ways to teach digital literacy and citizenship.

Reflect on your role in facilitating your students’ positive digital habits.

Share collected resources with others using a Symbaloo, LiveBinder,, or other digital curation tool.

My school district’s Initiatives for 2016 are:

  • Build, support and value an innovative, learning and mission-driven organizational culture
  • Close opportunity and achievement gaps through pervasive LEARNER focused support

My innovation plan of creating a web site of student-created content that teaches digital literacy skills helps to address these two initiatives when the learners are students. With this new BHAG for teachers, I have a way to impact organizational culture by supporting adult learners in the development of their digital literacy & digital citizenship. This is what being a digital culture change agent is all about!

Any thoughts on the need for digital literacy & digital citizenship instruction? You know I’d love to hear them!


Fink, L.D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from


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