Digital Fluency

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Many individuals and groups have influenced the need to include a “technologies” learning stream within the Australian Curriculum (Howell, 2012)

Children in today’s digital society are raised in an environment embedded by technology and are digitally expectant of the education provided to them however, I have learnt this expectation is not limited to students.  Parents, teachers, governments, employers and the wider community all anticipate children to be taught in an educational environment current with societal trends, enabling them to participate and share in a world now digitally driven (Howell, 2012).  As stakeholders of the education system, they drive the necessity for students to exit school digitally fluent (Howell, 2012).  A shift transforming teaching pedagogies taught to future educators at university and, the professional development needed for current educators, to a more discovery-based learning format (Howell, 2012; Seely-Brown, 2000).  By deepening my understanding of the digital expectancy of student’s and outer school contributors, the view that while more traditional instruction-based teaching techniques still serve their purpose in today’s educational dynamic, I now appreciate the need to acquire newer approaches to meet society’s demands of developing digital fluency in the children I educate.

 

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Technology has the potential to “increase the velocity of learning” when blended with traditional educational methods (Woolley-Wilson, 2012).

 

Facing the challenge of learning these newer pedagogies, teachers must now deliver and teach content in a technology-enriched environment that promotes digital fluency.  As digital immigrants who have an uphill battle of trying to match the technical aptitude of our students, the digital natives (Prensky, 2001), we must equip ourselves with current educational techniques to help close that gap.  Transforming from information

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The … “messy”… teaching method of the twenty first century… transforming the teachers role to that of co-collaborator (Siemens, 2005)

bearers to co-collaborators is essential, working alongside students applying emerging educational theories like constructivism (Siemens, 2005); a messier and more complex form of learning where students construct individual meanings from experiences (Driscoll, 2000).  This aligns with Howell’s (2014) suggestion that digital fluency develops from trial and error and experimentation rather than direct, instructional schooling.  Going forward, adopting the principle of enculturation and transferring it to my students, will encourage life-long learning and build digital fluency, through an ability to adapt to the ever-changing technological revolution.

Knowledge is …dynamic, ever changing with our experience”. (Rahman, 2015)

References

Driscoll, M. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press

Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e48e0050

Prenksy, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(2), 1-6. Retrieved from https://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/PRENSKY+-+DIGITAL+NATIVES+AND+IMMIGRANTS+1.PDF

Rahman, M.S. (2015). Education for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/MSRahman1/education-for-21st-century

Seely-Brown, J. (2000). Growing up: Digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. Change: The magazine of higher learning, (32), 11-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00091380009601719

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://er.dut.ac.za/bitstream/handle/123456789/69/Siemens_2005_Connectivism_A_learning_theory_for_the_digital_age.pdf?sequence=1

Woolley-Wilson, J. (2012, December 17). Blending technology and classroom learning: Jessie Woolley-Wilson at TEDxRainier [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0TbaHimigw

Participation and the Digital Divide

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Integrating technology into our lives opens the door for increased learning opportunities and a more knowledgable and creative society.

As a pre-service teacher with technology and digital devices deeply embedded in her life, I am guilty of assuming everyone is so accepting of this revolution. I was surprised when I learnt of the large volume of people that choose not to adapt to this change or are unable to access these newer conventions due to economical or geographical reasons. Corporations, educational institutions and the Australian Government have implemented steps to help bridge the divide through programs like Infoxchange (Bentley, 2014), Computerbank (Bentley, 2014) and the National Broadband Network (Fifield, 2015) however, the problem remains with those of older generations who decide not to accept technology into their lives. They form part of the digital abyss due to a lack of understanding of how to use newer technologies and their benefits (Molinari, 2011). I believe parents who fall into this category and are reluctant to embrace technology, could potentially disadvantage their children’s education and pose additional challenges to educators, who aim to prepare students to succeed and function in today’s digital world.

…the digital divide is a new illiteracy…[those]…digitally excluded… will be less informed, they will be less inspired and they will be less responsible” (Molinari, 2011).

Informing myself of the benefits of incorporating technology in the classroom and at home, will assist me as a teacher in closing the digital divide.  Conveying these to parents and caregivers by linking technology’s relevance to the real world and, its benefits within an educational context of increased engagement, collaboration and communication  (Carey, 2012), will help me to achieve this goal.  Although Prensky’s (2008) suggestion some teacher’s may also have resistance towards digital integration, their skill-set must evolve to meet the digital expectancy of their students (Howell, 2012) and the requirements of the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015).  I now have clarity that my currency as a twenty-first century educator must include equipping myself with the skills to not only develop students’ digital citizenship, but also to educate to the outer school community of the benefits of technology to help close the digital divide.

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A large component of the characteristics listed in this article is the digital integration required to be a teacher in the 21st century.

 

References

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/introduction

Bentley, P. (2014). Lack of affordable broadband causing ‘digital divide’. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644

Carey, J. (2012, December 14). How to gain parent buy-in for classroom technology integration [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://plpnetwork.com/2012/12/14/gain-parent-buy-in-tech-integration/

Fifield, M. (2015, October 1). New nbn satellite to close digital divide [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.minister.communications.gov.au/mitch_fifield/news/new_nbn_satellite_to_close_digital_divide#.VxHOeZN97ow

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press

Molinari, A. (2011, October 16). Bridging the digital divide [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-Century digital learner. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

 

Digital identities and digital security

citizenshipChildren learn acceptable behaviour through observation, imitation and guidance of those surrounding them.  The current technological environment we live in has cemented my recognition of the need for educators to teach this principle for online application.  They need a clear understanding of the security measures required for participation in digital environments (Ribble, Bailey & Ross, 2004) and the permanence of digital activity (Treyvaud, 2013) to communicate to students.  These digital natives, have a natural aptitude for using new technologies but many teachers, the digital immigrants, struggle to speak the language of the new-age students (Prensky, 2001). Educators falling into this category, lack digital fluency and face challenges meeting the Australian Curriculum requirement (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015) to educate students about key digital citizenship principles, including communicating positively online, web awareness and selection (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016a).  By maintaining professional development in digital technologies, I will be better placed to teach digital citizenship to my students.

…the most important thing adults today can do for the next generation is to work in partnership with other parents and teachers to create a village of support when it comes to digital technology use.” (Herron, 2012)

Further learning will also assist relating to the outer school community.  Older generations struggle with the application and awareness of technology needed to participate in online environments hence, most parents share in the status of being a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001), having been introduced to many newer technologies later in life.  Consequently, equipping myself with knowledge about appropriate online etiquette and safety is equally valuable by enabling that information to be conveyed to others in the community responsible for the care of students, such as parents, carers and guardians. This view is supported by Alistair MacGibbon, Australia’s first Children’s eSafety Commissioner (Fletcher, 2015), who highlights cyber awareness education for parents is equally important as teaching the children.  Resources such as Outreach and its Pre-service teacher program (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016b) are tools helping educators guide parents to support their child’s learning.  My currency with these resources and continued development of my digital fluency are key skills I need to be a twenty-first century educator.

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Everyone has a role to play in promoting digital citizenship and building stronger online communities.” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016a)

References

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/introduction

Commonwealth of Australia. (2016a). Digital Citizenship: Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Retrieved from https://esafety.gov.au/education-resources/classroom-resources/digital-citizenship

Commonwealth of Australia. (2016b). Outreach: Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Retrieved from https://www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/outreach

Fletcher, P. (2015, March 19). Leading online safety expert Alistair MacGibbon appointed Children’s eSafety Commissioner [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.minister.communications.gov.au/paul_fletcher/news/leading_online_safety_expert_alastair_macgibbon_appointed_childrens_e-safety_commissioner#.VwxFgBN96YV

Herron, K. (2012, August 7). Why parents and educators should work together to teach digital citizenship. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.graphite.org/blog/why-parents-and-educators-should-work-together-to-teach-digital-citizenship#

Prenksy, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(2), 1-6. Retrieved from https://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/PRENSKY+-+DIGITAL+NATIVES+AND+IMMIGRANTS+1.PDF

Ribble, M., Bailey, G. & Ross, T. (2004). Digital citizenship: Addressing appropriate technology behaviour. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32(1), 6-12. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ695788.pdf

Treyvaud, R. (2013). Secondary: Digital tattoo. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/programs/bullystoppers/rtsdigitaltattoo.pdf

 

 

 

Digital Teaching Resource and Review #2

ANZAC DAY: A teaching resource for Year 3 students…

EVALUATION MATRIX

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

history teaching resource designed for year three students studying “days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia … and the importance of symbols and emblems” (ACHASSK064) (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015).

Web link:

Click on the image below to take you to “Glogster”.  When viewing, expand the screen view to large (the icon is in the top right corner) and, explore the interactive content.

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How should it be used?

The resource would be used on an interactive whiteboard [IWB] as a supplementary tool to teacher-led inquiry and discussion.  The “glog” (www.glogster.com) would be explored and discussed with the class progressively and supported with topic related tasks assigned by the teacher, who would need some background knowledge of the topic, for example Simpson and his donkey, to draw upon in the lesson.  It could be used individually on iPads to promote digital fluency development in alignment with Australian Curriculum content descriptor (ACTDIK007) (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015a).

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource:

Using the resource alongside collaborative discussion is a method deemed highly engaging by drawing on multiple intelligences of students (Herr-Stephenson, Alper, Reilly & Jenkins, 2013).  The transmedia navigation required for this resource will assist in developing multiple digital literacies of students through the interactive component (Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2012).

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource:

The second video by Behind the News (2015) could be deemed too graphic for  Year 3 students and parental approval may be required to allow students to view such content.  The presentation is visually busy which could detract focus off a particular element, highlighting the essential requirement of teacher-led discussion.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

This resource would be a great lead in to learning about timelines and recording of events, relating to the Humanities and Social Science stream of the Australian Curriculum (ACHASSI055) (ACARA, 2015b).  The story of  Simpson and his donkey could be used as a topic for student discussion about whether they agree or disagree on the decision not to award him with the Victorian Cross.  This would offer students practice in respectful social interactions that involve differing perspectives, directly related to the Australian Curriculum (ACHASSI059) (ACARA, 2015b).

References

Alper, M. and Herr-Stephenson, B. (2013). Transmedia play: Literacy across media. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 5(2), 366-369. Retrieved from https://lms.curtin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3919574-dt-content-rid-22413457_1/courses/EDUC1015-DVCEducation-879272311/Transmedia%20Play_%20Literacy%20Across%20Media.pdf

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015a). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/introduction

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015b). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/introduction

Behind the News. (2015, April 27). Anzac Special: The Gallipoli Story [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v+1pIp9DXJmS8

Herr-Stephenson, B., Alper, M., Reilly, E. and Jenkins, H. (2013). T is for transmedia: Learning through transmedia play. Retrieved from http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/t_is_for_transmedia.pdf

Digital Teaching Resource and Review #1

How the Earth has changed over time and why??? 

EVALUATION MATRIX

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

This teaching resource is series of guided lessons for year six Science students studying how “sudden geological changes and extreme weather events can affect Earth’s surface” (ACSSU096) (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015).  It is a cross-curriculum approach integrating the Technologies stream of the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2015), relevant for content descriptors (ACTDIP016) and (ACTDIP022).

Web link:

A Storify teaching aide…

Click here: How Earth has changed over time and why???

How should it be used?

Group work amongst students will promote collaboration by using a social constructivist approach (Howell, 2012) and blended learning, incorporating technology.  It should be used as a progression of four lessons ending with an end assessment goal of a group-designed infograph.  The teacher will play the role of co-collaborator, guiding class and group discussions and ensuring student’s remain on-task with what is required.  It is designed for use on an interactive whiteboard [IWB] or iPad.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource:

The creative and interactive digital design will appeal to the digitally expectant students of today (Howell, 2012).  Integrating independent, group and whole class collaboration, the resource is engaging due its variety.  By incorporating technology, the resource will assist in developing students digital fluency.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource:

Lesson lengths are quite long, potentially affecting the level of engagement of students and its practicality.  In particular, the video in lesson two could have been shorter as it leaves little room for class discussion.  The resources reliance on accessibility to digital devices could make it unsuitable for schools who are not technologically equipped.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

This teaching resource would be ideal as a lead in for the learning areas of biological sciences (ACSSU094) and the nature and development of science (ACSHE098) (ACARA, 2015).

References

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). v8.1 Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press