The beginning of the school year is a time to set the tone for a student’s learning experience, including what teachers expect from students and families. But that first week of school is also the time to teach valuable learning skills that will be used throughout the year. Alan November, a former teacher turned lecturer, consultant and author, challenged teachers to rethink how they start the school year by outlining skills that are crucial to students to learn in the first five days of school. He shared his vision at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Philadelphia.
With 1:1 technology initiatives and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs increasingly being implemented in schools across the globe, the need for digital literacy education has become more important than ever. Although technology enables students to access more information in much less time, it does not always foster learning. Teaching digital literacy helps to manage all of the benefits of technology while helping students understand how to safely weed through the vast amounts of information online.
Technology in the classroom has the following advantages:
Allows students to manipulate information and media to construct their own meanings Enables students to share their ideas quickly and easily Engages students of all cognitive levels and abilities Prepares students to be college and career ready These benefits, among others, are why technology has become a major part of the global curriculum. However, teaching digital literacy has its challenges. The aspects of e-safety, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and finding and evaluating information must all be addressed. Many teachers lose sight of creativity and collaboration because Common Core and other initiatives focus on gathering and evaluating information with very little emphasis on creativity.
Being digitally literate is not just about knowing how to use programs or being aware of copyright law. It’s also about being able to ask the right questions. This is another reason to have a news section in your Computing lessons, in addition to the 5 reasons to have a Computing news section of your lessons I wrote about previously: having a news section gives pupils the opportunity to practise asking pertinent questions. It doesn’t even matter if the questions cannot be answered immediately: the point of the exercise is to exercise the questioning “muscles” in your brain.
Why should my family think about 21st century learning? Today’s students will graduate into a world where the demands of our professional, personal and public lives grow more complicated every year.
An innovation and creativity-driven economy: They will enter a job market that rewards creativity, flexible thinking, on-the-job learning and comfort with technology.
- A more globally-connected world: Their classmates and co- workers may live in the same zip code or across the globe.
- Information overflow: We get dizzying amounts of information every day. It can be hard to figure out what is reliable and how to use it.
- An expanded civic life: citizens are active in physical communities, online and through social media, getting involved in local politics as well as global initiatives.
Instead of slowing down, these trends are gaining momentum. As a result, our students need to be more globally aware, better able to navigate the digital world and more engaged as 21st century citizens.
Parents, families and schools play a key role by supporting the development of 21st Century Skills and 21st century citizenship. Providing your child with a 21st century education will give them opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge and mindsets they need to be successful in college, career and life.
Studies of the effectiveness of video in formal learning environments have yielded some confusing ideas, namely that content acquired via video consumption doesn’t easily transfer to the medium of text (Fisch 2002; Koran, Snow & McDonald 1971). This doesn’t mean students aren’t learning from the video (or the text for that matter), but it rather suggests that the design of each medium may impact how the brain processes and stores the “lessons” from said medium, disrupting seamless transfer from one form to another.
This suggests that video consumption would more readily transfer to video production, or even video as a means of assessment. Similarly, the reading of a text naturally transitions to text production and text-based assessment–or so some research suggests. How this works in your classroom is ideally a matter of your own experimentation, and a matter of voice and choice for the students. In lieu of these data, inter and intra-media interaction from texts, images, voice, video, and other existing and emerging digital and non-digital forms represents a significant opportunity for innovation and creativity. Books, twitter, YouTube, poems, text messages, Meerkat, tweets, and other physical and digital aesthetics all matter less in form than they do in function–all represent and enable nuanced idea expression.
Like reading a text, video comprehension is a matter of decoding, but with different symbols based on unique modalities. Light, sound effects, scene cuts, dialogue, voice-overs, video speed, music, and more. How should students approach a video? How should they watch one? What should they do when they’re done? More largely, what viewing comprehension strategies should students use to promote close viewing? What can they do to increase comprehension and retention of video content so that they are able to repackage meaning into other media forms?
For students to grow into their digital voices, they must understand the value of personal communication and projecting their own work on the global stage.
Student voice is something that we all want to amplify in education, but we must ensure that students understand what it means and how their work will project on a global stage. Digital Learning Day should provide an opportunity for students to understand how we got here, and empower them to create and design the next digital revolution. It is our job as educators to teach students about the non-digital times so that they can possess a greater understanding of the digital world they are developing.
As I spend a great deal of time every year looking at the latest technological advances for the enterprise, I’ve noticed a trend in recent years that’s long been true but is clearly markedly accelerating. That trend is that technology has officially pulled well ahead of the workplace skills of even the most proactive manager or line worker. It’s not that the digital possibilities are getting ahead of our businesses, it’s that high technology itself is proliferating so rapidly in terms of potent and truly transformative new products and services (social software, collaborative economy, wearables, 3D printing, and the whole hype cycle) that it is now very difficult today even for experts working on the subject full time to keep up.
In transmedia storytelling, narrative is central to the story, which is told across multiple platforms, and may include sound, images, text, movie and gaming elements. The best part about it is that each of those elements plays an integral part of the narrative. And without experiencing all of those elements, you miss the full story. That’s what makes transmedia storytelling a powerful tool for 21st century literacy and learning.
Using The Matrix film series as an inspiration, aspiration and model, this article integrates horizontal and vertical models of literacy. My goal is to create a new matrix for media literacy, aligning the best of analogue depth models for meaning making with the rapid scrolling, clicking and moving through the read-write web. To undertake this study I deploy not only the filmic series, but one of the scholars who inspired it. I explore the relevance and application of Jean Baudrillard’s research on contemporary understandings of media literacy.
Here is a short two pages PDF document from ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) which features the six major fluencies (standards) students need to develop in the 21st century classroom. Each of these fluencies is broken down into various skills all of which work in unison to cultivate the target fluency. From all the resources I have shared here on the 21st century teaching and learning, this document is by far the most comprehensive and practical. It touches on almost all the skills and competencies required to build an intellectually, socially, culturally, and digitally apt student. Here is a quick round-up of the six major fluencies
Once I decided I was going to teaching Digital Citizenship to my 6-8 middle school students it’s was brought to my attention of producing student reflections & insights through creating blog posts on teacher given scenarios. This is a great methodology that allows teachers to see students reflections, insights, as well as allowing students to collaborate with one another.
Too often, I hear about administrators asking teachers to use technology without proper instruction or implementation. All the while, many of those administrators have little or no clue about the same technology—even as they advertise its classroom use to parents, board members, and prospective students.
I've become convinced that understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy. This is the first in a series of short videos about how the structure and dynamics of networks influences political freedom, economic wealth creation, and participation in the creation of culture. The first video introduces the importance of understanding networks and explains how the underlying technical architecture of the Internet specifically supports the freedom of network users to innovate.
Digital literacies and digital game-based learning (DGBL) are both concepts that have emerged in the educational arena since digital technologies have become all pervasive in every aspect of society. With mobile technologies continuing to develop, games are being used more and more by people of all generations and schools are realising that there is some potential for adopting digital games into the formal setting for learning (Beavis, 2012; Arnab et al., 2012). Digital literacies have been recognised as necessary for successful participation in all aspects of life and are embedded throughout the Australian Curriculum / NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum within the General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities. There are many similarities between digital literacies and digital game-based learning, yet, it would seem that very little research has been undertaken to make the link obvious between these two concepts.
Throughout this chapter, connections will be made between digital game-based learning and digital literacies to show that digital game-based learning is a powerful pedagogy that incorporates the elements of digital literacies. In showing the similarities, it will be seen that through the adoption of game-based learning, digital literacies can be taught in context. Digital literacies are the skills that connect the learning content (curriculum) and digital games are the platform that these digital literacies can be practised within a meaningful context.
Driving home from school, a teacher with the Lewisville Independent School District overheard her high school–aged son tell a friend about something he posted online. When she asked what he wrote, he explained that he carefully chose his words because he didn't want to disappoint his principal.
That's a good digital citizen, explains Jody Rentfro, emerging technologies specialist at Lewisville ISD in Texas. The student stopped to consider who would see his post and how readers would react to it. "I think there are kids in college who aren't aware of that," she adds.
A quick scan through social media sites shows that even many adults don't consider the consequences of their actions online. Thoughtless comments, compromising photos and oversharing are rampant on the web, and more people are paying attention, including college admissions officers, employers and criminals.
As the stakes of online content grow, schools around the globe have built increasingly comprehensive digital citizenship programs aimed at helping students — and teachers, staff and parents — to stay safe, be wise consumers, respect intellectual property, communicate effectively and think critically on the Internet.
Debates over children and media use are nothing new, but the technologies by which children primarily interact with media have changed significantly. Most guidelines related to "screen time" were developed when television was the dominant media, but new technologies are making us question the value of older research. In its most recent report on the subject, the American Academy of Pediatrics makes reference to "important positive and prosocial effects of media use," and a call for expanding media education programs in schools. While more dedicated media education in schools would be great, it is little more than a pipe dream in the current climate of low budgets and high-stake tests.
It is therefore incumbent on individual educators to help students interact with media in ways that are critical and empowering. We cannot limit this work to media that we have selected for quality or educational value. We should look for ways to engage critical thinking around students' everyday media uses, whether through planned projects and lessons or informal engagement.
We often talk about digital literacy, technology competency, and/or social media prowess. In 2015, there is an assumption that those of us who work in higher education will have some degree of technology fluency that will be used to affect our professional existence in some way or another.
Our ability to navigate the electronic waters of devices (both mobile and not-so-mobile), applications, and digital solutions is honed on a daily basis through formal learning experiences, autodidactic problem solving, social media engagement, errant mouse (or trackpad) clicks, Google searches, and CMD + Z.
When we're hired, it's rare that our digital literacy will be assessed. And, perhaps even more telling, after we've been in our jobs for a bit, there's no rubric or measurement to see if we've grown more digitally literate. Some individuals who happen to lean towards a digital lifelong learning literacy track will be on a continuous journey of learning about new technologies, new apps, new services, and new ways that technology can enhance or improve their daily routines. While others will seem to be somewhat frozen in their ability to take on a bit more mental (or temporal) bandwidth with regards to the latest social media platform or a new update to their tried-and-true operating system. Perhaps it's time to create assessments for higher education professionals that measure their digital literacy journey? Figuring out what people know about all things digital when they enter a new environment would be exceptionally helpful for folks who work in staff development. And, assessing the digital literacy of existing staff would send a clear message that technology competency is an ongoing part of our professional trek.
The increasing number of digitally literate students, with constant access to the internet via their own handheld devices, can cause problems for lecturers – but they also offer scholars the opportunity to undertake new and exciting research methods.
This is according to Christopher Jones, professor of research in educational technology at Liverpool John Moores University, who next month will address the issue at the Methodology and Ethics for Researching the Digital University conference, organised by the Society for Research into Higher Education.
The literacy landscape is rapidly evolving to the extent that we can no longer expect what it will be like in the next coming years. Regardless of the nomenclature, whether you call them new literacies, emerging literacies, 21st century literacies , the traditional concept of literacy has definitely undergone so much transformations and modifications in the last two decades especially in the light of the the new technological advancements and the emergence of new forms of using and interacting with text. Literacy now entails more than just being able to decode (read) and encode (write) text, but also includes the ability to express and communicate through a multimodal system of signs, the ability to analyze, evaluate, synthesize, critically appraise and share different forms of information.
"Our lives are governed by numbers," according to a landmark report published by the American Statistical Association. Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education, commonly known as the GAISE Report, is worth a read by any teachers who wonder why data analysis deserves a place outside of math classes.
The GAISE Report argues that quantitative literacy -- the ability to make sense of those numbers -- goes well beyond academic outcomes and empowers students to think for themselves.
"Teachers are realizing they need to give students opportunities to question the things they're presented with, whether it's a news article or story unfolding in their community or internationally," says Parikh. Across the curriculum, students need to know how to ask, "What do the data say?"
Historically speaking, studies of literacy have undergone two major shifts over the last four or five decades. The first shift took place in early seventies and eighties with the publication of a series of works such as The Literacy Myth (Harvey Graff, 1979), The Psychology of Literacy (Scribner & Cole, 1981), Literacy in Theory and Practice ( Brain Street, 1984),The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life (Richard Hoggart, 1957). These studies challenged the established and traditional approaches to literacy which, until then, was considered a personal affair, an individual cognitive process. These studies emphasized the social and cultural aspects of literacy and advanced the view that literacy is a social practice, a social event mediated by text.
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