Digital literacy can be defined as, “the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate, and create information using a range of digital technologies.” To me this means that being digitally literate means that you can successfully find your way through the technological world. This is not an easy task. When you consider the amount of social networks that are available in today’s world it can become overwhelming. Even as a 23 year old I still find myself lost in a world that I’m supposed to be thriving in because my generation is the start of this crazy new technological age. Learning how to use these technological and digital mediums is going to become key to being a successful teacher in the future. I predicted that by 2020 pen and paper will seem obsolete and outdated. Everything will be done on a computer, even nowadays books can be downloaded on a computer to read so who needs print? (Personally I love the smell of opening a book, so I’ll always have a print library).
Being a year away from graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education I can’t help but think how digital literacy will be integrated into the classrooms. I found a very well thought out and well written blog post on Powerful Learning Practice by Jennifer Carey explaining a little bit about what she does to incorporate digital literacy in her classroom. The link to her blog is here:How to Infuse Digital Technology Throughout the Curriculum
The blog is mostly about how to incorporate technology into the classroom when the classroom or school already has a very strict curriculum set in place that needs to be followed. The first example that she gives is one that is very simple yet somehow overlooked all the time as digital literacy; researching online! This is something that I have been doing since middle school, but I have always taken for granted. I always joke with my parents who had to do research papers by researching in books and encyclopedias, I would never had been able to get anything done! I take for granted the simple task of typing in a few key words to Google and with a few short clicks I have all the resources needed to complete a research paper. The problem a lot of the students I will be teaching will face is not how to research things online, but how to sort through all the unnecessary information that gets put online. Carey has a method that was developed by University of California at Chico called CRAAP. It stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. I think this is just great because it teaches students early how to research properly, a skill that will stay with them forever.
Social Media… This is something that I have struggled with for a while, deciding on whether or not it is a good idea to have young students involved in social media outlets. I think as the digital world grows larger and more vast introducing students in a safe and professional way to social media is smart. Teaching them how to connect to people throughout the world is such a mind boggling concept. A child could have a conversation with another child in a country all the way on the other side of the world just with push of a button! I think Twitter is going to be the most important tool for a student to have in their social media belt. It is so easy to connect with anyone, and if taught how to stay safe online and stay away from cyber bullying I think it would give students a big advantage for when they graduate and move into the real world. Being able to make those quick connections is great for teaching, business, and although it might be thought that technology can disconnect us from each other I think it can help build those connections.
So, are robots taking over and is it good or bad? I think it will be good for the classroom in the long run. There are so many unexplored ways to incorporate technology in schools that I am excited to be able to learn all the possibilities.