As the Internet becomes an increasingly important part of all of our lives, children are spending more time online as well. And they are doing this largely without any guidance about what is responsible or appropriate online.
While my six- and seven-year old students don’t yet even understand the words “digital” or “citizenship,” they also need direction and support as they explore online spaces. In fact, they need this instruction even more than their older counterparts.
When we approach digital reputation in an empowering way it allows us to reframe the conversation. Instead of nagging students about not posting party pictures on Facebook, we can empower them to build a digital reputation that aligns with the legacy...
Teaching students about the internet can be bit confusing. Teachers often shy away from teaching core technology concepts because of this perceived complexity. Without a game plan and the proper visuals it can be very tricky to explain an abstract system like a computer network. The word “internet” should paint a picture in your head …
Simply because something is powerful, doesn’t mean that it should be feared. At a young age, students are introduced to a digital megaphone that will highlight their voice and experiences to the entire world with the click of a button. As students are taught to be positive role models in their communities, they should also learn to be great digital citizens and leaders. Unlike behavior in the school hallways or on the playground, online interactions are recorded — forever. The sooner students learn how to shape their digital footprint and the responsible ways to interact online, the better.
As the space in which students now "live" has moved into a digital world, the concept of citizenship has once again been on my mind. And a familiar pattern is emerging as I see examples of users/citizens, both young and old, not fully understanding the responsibilities associated with membership. This time around it feels as though the rights have a clear victory over the responsibilities.
Online digital technology has empowered users in ways that were unimaginable twenty years ago. Social media sites have given us the ability to reach a global audience, and have increased the average user's means to persuade and influence. We are no longer just consumers of media, but content creators and distributors, as well as editors, opinion makers, and journalists.
Our economies have for many years been moving away from old style manufacturing to services. That transition is set to continue, and requires new skills sets. Meanwhile, traditional and digital technologies are converging and becoming more integrated; and changing how we find, use, present and understand information. Robots are becoming ever more intelligent and have been forecast to be capable of replacing millions of lower skilled, and increasingly higher skilled, jobs in the USA alone in coming decades.
All of these will require new literacies not only for work but for living a fulfilled life, coping with the new complexities of our societies, and engaging as a citizen.
It's the huge potential and great possibilities to move learning beyond the traditional walls of the classroom. Learning has always had a large informal component and now we're witnessing its fruition in mobile learning, augmented reality, gaming, and other technology-supported learning on the move. We're also in the age of the learner as their own node of production – it's exciting to see students working with their teachers to create, organise, repurpose and share content on a global scale through social media and personal devices.
What we need to help with this are metrics – discrete, measurable things (although not necessarily always numbers). These metrics will allow for the person that’s learning to teach the web to feel a sense of progression. And it will also allow us at Mozilla to see when that person’s reached a threshold to count towards our target number of contributors.
One of the things I’m interested in around all this is what it means to ‘get better’ at web literacy.
These standards are broken down into 5 categories for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science educators. According to wikipedia (don’t judge us), this process started in earnest in the late 1990s, and the result today is comprehensive–which leads us to the above graphic from the simplycurious wiki.
There's a whole host of complicated reasons why, from boring curricula to a lack of qualified teachers to the fact that in most states computer science doesn't count toward graduation requirements. But should we worry? After all, anyone can learn to code after taking a few fun, interactive lessons at sites like Codecademy, as a flurry of articles in everything from TechCrunch to Slatehave claimed. (Michael Bloomberg pledged to enroll at Codecademy in 2012.) Twelve million people have watched a video from Code.org in which celebrities like NBA All-Star Chris Bosh and will.i.am pledged to spend an hour learning code, a notion endorsed by President Obama, who urged the nation: "Don't just play on your phone—program it."
Though the constant updates can be annoying as twitter just to iterate itself towards monetization and permanent relevancy in a finicky digital landscape, among the changes I like is the ability to embed images. Other channels like tumblr have always had this, but not so with twitter. So when Sam Boswell tweeted the image above–being the right-brain idiot that I am–I clicked, and there was much irony in what I saw. A conceptual framework for learning in digital networks! (Get it? I was learning about digital networks on a digital network? Tough crowd.)
Can we really measure happiness? How does educational attainment vary across ZIP codes? What does math have to do with charity? Which team has the better athletes, Yankees or Red Sox? These are just a few of the wide-ranging questions that students are asking -- and attempting to answer -- by analyzing data.
"Looking at data needs to become part of the conversation across every classroom, not just in math," says Harshil Parikh. He's co-founder of an educational platform called TuVaLabs that connects students with data sets and analytical tools to help them make better sense of their world.
There are a lot of different kinds of literacy that are important, that we actually teach or talk about teaching in school. Today I’m advocating for a kind of literacy that I don’t hear discussed a lot: Visual Communication.
Really, we could broaden this to digital communication, because that’s a whole area that also is not getting enough love. How many formal letters have you written in the past five years? How many emails have you sent in the last five days? We should be teaching our kids proper email etiquette.
Nearly a third of Americans have trouble navigating the Internet, says one researcher.
A new challenge is emerging from the cracks of the digital divide: digital readiness — helping those who have Internet access, but lack the skills to use it effectively. And librarians could play a huge role in turning the tide, some experts say.
This year’s “The Learning Curve” report from Pearson takes a look at education across the globe. One of the main things the report does is rank the world’s educational systems (which we’ll talk about in a different post). What I find even more interesting is the focus on what skills current students need to meet the ever changing needs of the global market, and some potential ways to address shortcomings in our collective educational systems.
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 …
The above framework was developed by Juliet Hinrichsen and Antony Coombs at the University of Greenwich. Explaining its origins, they describe the model as “a framework to articulate the scope and dimensions of digital literacies. It is based on an established model of literacy which is underpinned by critical perspectives (the Four Resources Model of Critical Literacy, after Luke & Freebody). It has been adapted for the digital context.”
Digital literacy is emerging as a genuine concern in education as technology competes with traditional texts for student attention. There have been recent revisions in academic standards, but these should be considered insufficient to address the rapidly changing literacy needs of students.
So we’ve put together some questions to help design a plan to respond on your own–and to do so based on effective and accessible data and measurement of student performance. While data can mislead and obscure–often tragically–literacy skills is one area where it’s hard to argue with.
The consistent assessment and promotion of a student’s ability to consume and produce a variety of digital and non-digital texts is at the foundation of any school’s mission.
In understanding the shift from literacy to digital literacy–or rather to understand them both in their own native contexts–it may help to take a look at the underlying assumptions of digital literacy.
This means looking at what’s changing, why it’s changing, and what that means for education.