Digital Fluency podcast

Script

Hello and welcome to another quick Tech in Ed podcast, today we are exploring the topic of digital fluency and how to tell if students are achieving it.

So what is digital fluency? And what criteria do our students need to meet in order to be digitally fluent?

Put simply digital fluency is the ability to use technology well, to be able to express your ideas and thoughts in a ever growing technological world (Karen Spencer, 2015). I was recently looking at a book called Teaching with ICT by Jennifer Howell and I came across this really useful table (Howell, 2012, p.139, Table 8.2) that had a list of key skills highlighting to me what it means to be digitally fluent and for this podcast I would like to share some of the most relevant points with you.

First on the list was being able to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. proficiently, all that Microsoft know how which I believe is necessary if students ever plan on having a desk job. Adding to that point, I reckon that touch typing should be something students familiarise themselves with as being able to type fast and efficiently is crucial to career performance. An important skill on the list was understanding the benefits and risks of social media, cyber bullying is a big problem when it comes to how students use social media and as teachers we should be mindful that students don’t fully understand the consequences of their words. The next one that stood out to me was in my mind super important, I reckon everyone should be able to do this, that is to be able to create videos and podcasts. I find that it empowers students to be able to share their ideas and to create their own original work through the creation of a video.

That finishes the list. But if you think that there are other skills students should learn to be considered digitally fluent feel free to drop them down below in the comments.

See you next time on Tech Ed

Reflection

When creating the podcast I found slightly awkward to talk by myself and I didn’t really know how to script a solo podcast. Using SoundCloud to post my podcast was the best option as uploading a track is simple as well as the fact that WordPress supports embedding of SoundCloud tracks. I believe that teachers should be teaching students digital fluency skills even though the curriculum doesn’t specify that they should aim to improve students digital literacy skills (Howell, 2012, p.44). I personally believe the ability to type fast and effortlessly (touch typing) is a crucial skill that students should be taught at a young age as employees expect this level of digital fluency in their workplace (Howell, 2012, p.62).

References

Howell J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Australia: Oxford University Press Australia.

Karen Spencer. (October, 2015) What is digital fluency? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html on the 5th of May 2018.

Digital convergence

This is the link to my video.

https://videos.mysimpleshow.com/Nfk2olgIXq

Script

What is digital convergence?

Digital convergence is the merging of different technologiesmediaservices and applications into a singular device (Spacey, 2015)Digital convergence is constantly occurring with new technologies being developed bringing separate components into one identity.

An early example of convergence happened in the early twentieth century when radio wave technology merged with mediasuch as newspapersmusic and stories gave birth to modern radiochanging how people shared and received information.

A more recent example of convergence was the merging of televisioninternet access, mobilitycallstextvideo cameramusic playernewspaper and radio into a smartphone.

Mobile phones have transformed the way society functionsMobile phones provide a way to contact anyone at anytime but they also provide opportunities to be a distraction in certain environments such as school or work as well as inhibiting social interactions.

As technology develops so will the way in which we access it, already devices such as bio-chips are allowing people to paywith a swipe of their hand. Bio-chips that have attached records such as your licensepassportbank cardsonline health records and public transport cards.

Thanks for watching.

 

Reflection

Mysimpleshow is an easy tool to create homemade animated videos and could be easily implemented into the classroom through an activity such as making each student create a video based on a given topic. However there were a few issues, mysimpleshow prevented me from adding my own voice, making the video flow badly, as well as forcing a word count upon me which forced me to shorten what I needed to write for my viewers to gain a good understanding of digital convergence. Mysimpleshow also wouldn’t allow me to publish the video onto YouTube thereby inhibiting me from embedding the video into the blog. These problems occurred because mysimpleshow wanted me to buy a subscription for their service, which I understand. As a teacher I think that it’s important that software doesn’t limit you or your students creativity. Schools should provide the best opportunities for students to grow their understanding of the digital world through the use of programs such as mysimpleshow as it helps develop not only their digital literacy but literacy skills as a whole (Howell, 2012, p.79)

References

Howell J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Australia: Oxford University Press Australia.

Spacey J. (September, 2015) What is digital convergence? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://simplicable.com/new/digital-convergence on the 4th of May 2018.

 

 

 

Digital Divide in Education

The ‘digital divide’ is the unequal access to information and communications technology (ICT); i.e. phones, personal computers, tablets and laptops, between different groups of countries, regions and people. (Qudsia Kiran, 2018). This digital divide is most noticeable between countries, in the least developed countries only 5% of people have access to the internet (United Nations, 2015). However the divide does exists within more economically developed (MED’s) countries such as Australia.

Global_Digital_Divide1
Computers between 100 people around the globe (Qudsai Kiran, 2018)

In terms of the school environment, the focus of this blog, the digital divide prevents students from accessing the internet not at school but at home. Students that may have access to school facilities such as library computers, laptops and school tablets all which would be connected to the internet may not necessarily have that same access at home. In Australia of children aged 5 to 14, 32% in the lower socio-economic areas did not have access to the internet at home whilst 9% of students in higher socio-economic areas did not have access to the internet at home (Smith Family, 2016).

But why does the digital divide matter? Students without access to the internet whether it be from lack of access to the internet; no access to a laptop or computer, out of date hardware or students lacking programs such as Microsoft word, struggle to complete tasks such as online homework (Mathletics, Education Perfect, etc.), assignments and online research. This digital divide in the classroom has far-reaching consequences for poorer students.  Students without access to ICT outside of school lack a level of digital fluency, the ability to use and create with digital technologies (Howell, 2012, p.139), crucial to succeeding in upper school, finding a job and graduating from university.

Solutions to the digital divide?

  • Make internet access for everyone a priority for governments, a universal basic right.
  • Make sure educators are equipping students with the ability to complete tasks outside of school, possibly by leaving the library open for an extra hour or by letting students take home school laptops.
  • Teach key digital skills at school. Skills such as coding, create blogs, touch typing, etc.
  • Make sure teachers are aware of the ICT capabilities of their students possibly with a survey (p.11) at the start of the school year.

Reflection

Using WordPress as the host for my blog was a simple choice, WordPress was a good option due to the friendliness of the user interface. Being able to insert hyperlinks into the in text citations is a super convenient way for viewers to access the references and the fact that you can scroll through posts and read them without having to click on any other links is to me a good user interface. By using WordPress on my laptop it’s given me a greater appreciation for those who can’t access tools like these, who can’t express their viewpoint or share their insights on a digital platform.

References

Qudsia Kiran (2018). Gender Digital Divide: Does it Exist? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://wpmu.mah.se/nmict181group1/gender-digital-divide/ on the 4th of May 2018.

General Assembly, Second Committee (2015) Closing Digital Divide Critical to Social, Economic Development, Delegates say at Second Committee Debate on Information and Communications Technologies. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/press/en/2015/gaef3432.doc.htm on the 4th of May 2018.

Qudsia Kiran (2018). The Global Digital Divide. Retrieved from https://wpmu.mah.se/nmict181group1/gender-digital-divide/ on the 4th of May 2018.

The Smith Family (2016). Innovative Digital Challenge For Students Narrows The Digital Divide. Retrieved from https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/about-us/media/2016/10/19/22/54/201016-digital-divide on the 4th of May 2018.

Howell J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Australia: Oxford University Press Australia.