Digital world

Reflection

I believe that educators who aspire to help their students become digitally fluent should be able to use a wide variety of digital technologies and tools. In order to keep up with the increasing demands of the modern digital world, it is important for teachers to engage in “life-long learning” (Howell, 2012, p. 13). This means continuously exploring new technologies and digital tools and finding ways to implement them in the classroom.

In the process of developing this blog on digital teaching and learning, I have gained a number of new digital skills and teaching insights that I plan to use in the classroom.

I used WordPress as a platform for my blog and found that a basic understanding of HTML helped me to get more out of this software. For example, I used HTML to manually indent paragraphs in the reference section of each blog post.

For a blog post on digital identities and digital security, I explored the use of Prezi, which is a presentation software used as an alternative to traditional slide-based presentation tools, such as PowerPoint. Prezi allowed me to create an engaging and visually appealing presentation.

To create an auditory post on the topic of digital fluency, I used a tool called Voki. With the help of Voki people can create a speaking animated character and give this character their own voice. I found that Voki is a great software that can be used by teachers to present information in a fun way or by students to do school assignments.

After successfully using WordPress, Prezi and Voki to develop my blog, I can think of many ways these digital tools and similar software can be used in teaching. I believe that implementing such tools in the classroom will make students more engaged; therefore, their learning will be more effective. It is crucial that I continue to enhance my knowledge of using different types of digital technology in the classroom in order to meet demands and expectations of students in the future (Howell, 2012).

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Victoria:

Oxford University Press.

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Digital fluency

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(Hackett, n.d.)

Please, follow the links below to listen to the audio presentation:

http://tinyurl.com/ke5ybjp (part 1)

http://tinyurl.com/mfebcto (part 2)

http://tinyurl.com/jwaa9js (part 3)

Script:

According to Howell (2014), digital fluency is the ability to achieve desired results through the use of digital technologies. When it comes to digital fluency, there are a number of skills that will allow students to expand their experiences with different kinds of technologies. These skills include word processing, creating spreadsheets, learning presentation software, Internet searching, blogging and many more (Howell, 2012).

When students arrive at school for the first time, they can be described as “technology neophytes”, which means technology beginners. Over the years of schooling, teachers should aim to help their students become digitally fluent (Howell, 2012, p. 133).

Today’s students are the first generation to grow up surrounded by new technology every day. Teachers should use this “inbuilt advantage” (Mac Manus, 2013) and encourage students to actively participate in the digital world by exposing them to a variety of digital tools in the classroom (Howell, 2014).

Howell (2012) presented a number of ideas that help teachers to implement technology in any classroom and develop students’ digital fluency. For example, as a way to develop digital skills in students, teachers can ask them to use specific computer programs to complete assignments and submit their work electronically (p. 148).

One of the requirements for schools stated in many educational policy documents is to ensure that students become life-long learners. Since most of the information people use is presented in electronic format, digital fluency is a vital skill necessary for students to engage in life-long learning (Howell, 2012, p. 140). If teachers aim to inspire a “digital mindset” in their students by teaching them about the digital world, students are likely to continue learning on their own (Mac Manus, 2013).

It is crucial that teachers work to make their students employable in the future. Ensuring students’ digital fluency is the key to achieving this. Digital jobs are well paid and in-demand, they are creative and give people the freedom to work from any place in the world as long as they have access to the Internet (Mac Manus, 2013).

References

Hackett P. (n.d.). [Untitled image of a boy using digital technology]. Retrieved from

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/8-digital-skills-we-must-teach-our-children

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and

creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford.

Howell, J. (2014) Digital fluency [iLecture]. Retrieved from

https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e48e0050

Mac Manus S. (2013, August 2). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian.

Retrieved from

https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital

What is a Digital World?

The term “digital world” refers to the modern world where different forms of technology transform people’s everyday lives. Today’s students are growing up in a world revolving around technology. They watch digital TV, read Internet magazines, use social media and texting to connect with others and so much more. It seems that modern students are able to seamlessly transition between their physical and digital lives. (BETCA, as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 6). Since students are immersed in technology on a daily basis, they have been labelled as “digital natives” (Howell, 2012, p. 6).

IMG_20161007_114248135-1024x576

(Klein-Geltink, n.d.)

However, it appears that students’ digital fluency is restricted to leisure and entertainment pursuits rather than educational. Therefore, there is a great need to boost students’ knowledge of various digital technologies (Howell, 2012, p. 13).

It is evident that in the world where technology is truly revolutionising people’s lives, education is becoming increasingly digital. Teachers use projectors, interactive boards and other digital technologies to facilitate the learning process. However, as Howell (2012) puts it: “throwing a computer into a classroom doesn’t make the learning effective” (p. 5). Technology should not be viewed simply as a tool to support instruction, but rather as a foundation that changes the nature of learning (Howell, 2012, p. 5). Technology is transforming the way students learn and the way teachers teach (Howell, 2012, p. 15).

Prensky (2008) points out that students are becoming increasingly bored at school and their frustration with old-school teaching methods, such as lecturing, is rising. Effective implementing of technology in the classroom will result in more engaging classes and increased motivation among students (Howell, 2012, p. 12). Students will view the learning process more positively if technologies are used, therefore it will be easier for teachers to achieve their teaching objectives (Howell, 2012, p. 15).

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(Klein-Geltink, n.d.)

It is evident that both students and parents expect teachers to infuse technology into their teaching and help students navigate technological advances of the modern digital world (Howell, 2012, p. 6). To achieve this, teachers need “digital pedagogy” – the study of how to use digital technologies in teaching (Howell, 2012, p. 5).

In the video below Prensky talks about the role of the teacher in today’s digital world (CEMPVideos, 2010).

References

CEMPVideos (2010, October 21). Marc Prensky – What is the role of the teacher in

today’s world? [Video file]. Retrieved from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MpzcjhY_wI

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.

South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford.

Klein-Geltink M. (n.d.). [Students using computers at school]. Retrieved from

http://www.oacs.org/2016/teaching-digital-citizenship-at-gccs

Klein-Geltink M. (n.d.). [Students using iPads at school]. Retrieved from

http://www.oacs.org/2016/teaching-digital-citizenship-at-gccs

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-century digital learner. Retrieved from

http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008