Teaching and Learning in the Digital World

What is the digital world?

As a result of consistent technological advancements, today’s society uses an array of digital devices on a daily basis to communicate with one another, to extend their knowledge, for entertainment purposes and to complete daily tasks quickly and more efficiently. All of these digital devices that we depend on and that keep us connected make up the “digital world.”

Over the passing years, society  has become more dependent on digital technology then they once were. Now days thanks to the introduction of mobile phones, those that carry the device can be contacted verbally or visually at any given time wherever it is they may be. For those who are connected, information can be resourced quickly and accurately via the internet 24/7. The sole need for manual labour to complete tasks is decreasing due to computers and the introduction of complex machinery. Originally the rise in digital technology affected how we communicated and accessed information, it is now making us reassess the desired learning outcomes within the education system. (Howell, 2012, p. 13). To prepare our students for a career within today’s society it is essential that they achieve at least a basic level of digital competency.

Due to the increase of technology used within the workforce, employers expectations have changed from a focus on manual labour skills to a focus on intellect and creativity (Pillary et al., as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 11). Employers expect potential employees to be able to operate devices, navigate through software systems and express their ideas using digital tools or at least have the basic skills to learn how. Howell’s (2012, p.6) describes employers today as being “digitally expectant” of their employees. If this is true it is important that we as educators introduce our students to an assortment of digital technologies and assist them with becoming familiar in operating them, thus giving them the opportunity to succeed in the digital world.

References

AVG.Now. (2013). Digital World [Image]. Retrieved from                                                                              http://now.avg.com/protecting-your-digital-world/

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. South              Melbourne, VIC; Oxford University Press.

 

digital-fluency-2

Digital Fluency

Please follow the link below to Powtoon for audio summation.

https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentation/c6HFSH8NUZ5/?mode=presentation#/

Script of Audio Summation

The majority of society have at least a basic level of understanding of how to use some form of technology, predominately in relation to the devices and programs that we use on a daily basis in our home lives. To be recognised as fluent one must have a deeper understanding of how to use digital technology efficiently, respectfully and safely, hence the term “digital fluency.” Howells (2012, p. 13) feels that digital fluency appears to be “restricted to recreational pursuits” and not always present when it comes to interacting with the technology used to facilitate an education. Although most students attend school with a pre-existing knowledge of digital technology, if they are to become digitally fluent they would need to be exposed to and have the opportunity to interact with a range of digital technologies along with guidance and support from a competent educator on how to utilise them to aid their learning.

Educators are encouraged to teach their students using digital technologies and such areas of focus are incorporated into the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 12. As part of the Australia’s Senior Secondary Curriculum, there is an even stronger focus on Digital Technologies, the rationale being that “in a world that is increasingly digitalised and automated,” becoming digitally fluent “helps students to be regional and global citizens capable of actively and ethically communicating and collaborating.” (Australian Curriculum, 2016) Considering the increase in our dependency on technology in all aspects of life, we can see the importance of equipping our younger generation with the skills needed to be an active member of the community by acquiring a career and be able to competently complete the tasks required within the occupation. Resnick (as cited in White, 2013) believes In the years ahead, digital fluency will become a prerequisite for obtaining jobs, participating meaningfully in society, and learning throughout a lifetime.”  If this is true it is our responsibility as educators to keep up with the advancements of technology, by becoming familiar with a variety of digital technologies and their functions so we can incorporate them into the classroom and offer our students support in using them so as one day they will hopefully become digitally fluent members of the community.

Please view additional audio to extend your understanding of digital fluency

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Senior Secondary                    Curriculum: Digital Technologies. Retrieved from                                                                                        https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au

Belshaw, D. (2012). The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. Retreived                                                  from https://youtu.be/A8yQPoTcZ78

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. South              Melbourne, VIC; Oxford University Press.

White, G.K. (2013) Digital Fluency: Skills Necessary for Learning in the Digital Age.                          Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/digital_learning/6

WordPress. (2015). Site-Logo Attachment-Sela-Logo [Image]. Retrieved from                                   https://caseycaseylewis.wordpress.com/

 

digital-divide

Participation and the Digital Divide

Please follow the link below to Infogram for visual summation.

https://infogr.am/0046d684-272c-4443-ae63-616e56134657

References

Amazon. (n.d.). Providers [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?              tag=faretofreedom-20&ie=UTF8&keywords=Internet+Access

Electronic Frontier Foundation. (2014). Image-Right [Image]. Retrieved from                                  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/07/net-neutrality-and-global-digital-divide

Internet World Stats. (n.d.). The Digital Divide, ICT, and Broadband Internet. Retrieved                     from http://www.internetworldstats.com/links10.htm

Wikipedia . (n.d.). World [Image]. Retrieved from                                                                                       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World

Chia, A. (2002). Young People and Public Internet Access: A Quality STudy of Barriers,                               Opportunities and Attitudes. Retrieved from http://www.yacvic.org.au/

 

reflection

Final Reflection

Prior to beginning this unit of study I was unaware that there was such a vast selection of applications available to assist with the presentation of ideas and findings. I predominately chose to use applications that I was familiar with but may not have necessarily been the most efficient for the work I was completing. This unit has encouraged me to venture out of my comfort zone in relation to digital exploration. Through the use of WordPress, Infogram and Powtoon I was able to arrange the information I had gathered in a more appealing way for the viewer. When first logging on to each application I needed to spend time exploring the different layouts and functions and took advantage of the interactive tutorials.

When reflecting back on the information gathered to complete this assignment it was made evident that we live in a digital world that is consistently introducing new and improved technology. Due to this introduction on new technology and students, parents, employers and the greater community’s expectations, there has become a stronger focus within the education system on equipping our students with the skills to use digital devices and the internet appropriately and efficiently (Howells, 2012, p.55). In doing this, it will hopefully assist students with achieving digital fluency and provide each student with equal opportunities in relation to obtaining an education and job opportunities later in life.

The internet has become a necessity in everyday life to the majority of Australian’s, but sadly not everybody has the tools or the opportunity to be connected. Howell’s (2012, p.55) states that schools are progressively being “asked to bridge the digital divide between what parents can afford and what they would like their children to experience or be fluent in.” The introduction of a digital technology focused curriculum that exposes students to digital devices and applications that they may not get the opportunity to use at home is a step in the right direction towards achieving digital fluency and narrowing the digital divide.

References

Electronic Frontier Foundation. (n.d.). Listly [Image]. Retrieved from                                               https://drjodietaylor.com/critical-reflection-reflective-practice/

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. South              Melbourne, VIC; Oxford University Press.

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