What is digital literacy and digital citizenship? How to be safe online? How to teach students to have a balance between screen time and life? What is the right age to introduce kids to technology? How can technology help raise conscious global citizens?
"Literacy is the ability to make sense of something, often generalized as the ability to read and write. In many ways, reading is reading, media is media, but in the same way a play places unique comprehension demands on a reader compared to a poem or a letter, so do digital media compared to classic media forms. In the 21st century, new literacies are emerging and digital media forms allow communication to be more nuanced than ever before."
Many teachers have added ‘digital literacy’ as number four on the list of literacies their students should have (or be working towards, in most cases). Reading, writing, and math are now followed by digital literacy. Obviously, depending on the grade level you teach, your students will have different abilities in each of the four areas, …
Digital Citizenship – for me – is an extension of what it means to be a citizen and the different responsibilities that are involved in being a connected citizen in my community, province, country and international community.
At one time in the not so distant past there were no cell phones. And then everything changed at a rate faster than the speed of amending a student handbook. I can distinctly remember the first time one of my 8th grade students brought a cell phone to school. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, more of a novelty really. I mean one student with a cell phone had next to no bearing on our day to day school operations. But then a second student brought a cell phone.
The growing popularity and the pervasive use of social networking websites among our teens and students is a fact we can no longer ignore. Unfortunately, many school boards still promulgate laws that inhibit access to these platforms in schools and thus missing on huge learning opportunities for students. Instead of forcing an unwarranted ban on these media tools why not embrace them and turn them into learning hubs where our students can thrive academically.
As teachers, we know the reality of the summer slump. Many of our students lose practice with meaningful learning activities. But they aren't alone: So do we! Do you want to build new knowledge over the summer and return next fall with fresh ideas on how to ease students back into...
Is it possible for our students to be both digital natives and digitally unaware? Young people today are instant messengers, gamers, photo sharers and supreme multitaskers. But while they use the technology tools available to them 24/7, they are struggling to sort fact from fiction, think critically, decipher cultural inferences, detect commercial intent and analyze …
With technology playing a central role in education, teaching Digital Citizenship I believe, is a foundational and non-negotiable message that should be taught explicitly to all students. Digital Citizenship not only teaches students the etiquette involved in being a smart and effective participant in a digital world, but it empowers and equips students with essential life tools to help them navigate challenging digital based situations. I am a strong believer that until this becomes a natural and intrinsic process engrained for our students, Digital Citizenship should be taught.
Online safety issues comes at the top priorities of parents. They all show a deep concern about their kids use of internet and the time they spend navigating the web but when asked about the preemtive measures to take to protect their kids, several parents hide behind the popular " I am not tech-savvy" excuse. I said excuse because most of the parental control measures found in different media platforms are simple to activate and do not require any tech-saviness".
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