Tag Archives: digital literacy

Intergenerational Digital Literacy

This past week, I read a blog post by Jennifer Casa-Todd: Childrens’ Rights in a Digital World

It is based on this UNICEF publication: Childrens’ Rights in the Digital Age

This is the quote that first attracted my attention:

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“… digital literacy across generations..”

I immediately thought of Ontario’s Renewed Vision for Education.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 9.34.37 AM “Our children, youth and adults will develop the skills and the knowledge that will lead them to become personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens. They will become the motivated innovators, community builders, creative talent, skilled workers, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.”

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/about/renewedVision.pdf

When children attend a school, their experiences should not be limited by the knowledge and skills of the adults in the building.   The educators, as digitally literate, connected professionals, should be able to bring the world to the children.

[Edit: Please see the comment below suggesting a rephrasing of the above statement – 

My thinking: “The educators, as digitally literate, connected professionals, SHOULD BE ABLE TO FACILITATE THE CHILDREN’S LINKING THEMSELVES TO THE WORLD.”]

 

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The school building can be a community hub for all to access the world outside the community.  This concept of connected learning is well-explained in the short video below.

The importance of being part of a connected world is emphasized in a recent OECD Report – Connected Minds: Technology and Today’s Learners.

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From OECD: Connected Minds: Technology and Today’s Learners http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/connected-minds_9789264111011-en#page23 (Page 23)

So how do we help adults improve their digital literacy?

Earlier this week, HWDSB Grade 1 teacher Aviva Dunsiger led a discussion in the OSSEMOOC session demonstrating how she empowers the parents of her students through the use of technology.

Aviva uses technology to share her students’ learning throughout the day, and provides parents with simple suggestions for how the learning can be extended at home.

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From Slide 15 by @dajbelshaw (Doug Belshaw) http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/sssc-digital-literacy-workshop

During the recent Google Education On Air Panel Discussion (14:00), Zoe Tabary (from The Economist, Intelligence Unit) reminded us that there is no “extra” time in the school day to add digital literacy. Digital Literacy learning must be integrated into the current curriculum (Sean Rush, Junior Achievement Worldwide).

The recent report (Driving the Skills Agenda) from The Economist states that only 44% of the students surveyed (ages 18-25) feel that schools are providing them with the skills they need to enter the workplace, and while teachers report that technology is changing the way they teach, 77% of students report that schools are not effective in using technology for instruction.

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from Driving the Skills Agenda: Preparing Students for the future. http://www.eiumedia.com/index.php/latest-press-releases/item/1853-education-systems-are-not-arming-students-with-21st-century-skills-eiu-study-finds

How, then, does Digital Literacy for all become an integral part of learning in our schools?

If we are educating learners in our communities to be full participants in society, digital literacy must become a priority.

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From Slide 22 by @dajbelshaw (Doug Belshaw) http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/sssc-digital-literacy-workshop

Further Resources:

Critical Literacy: Is the Notion of Traditional Reading and Writing Enough? (Langwitches Blog)

Literacy Redefined (Jennifer Casa-Todd)

Driving the Skills Agenda (The Economist)

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Exploring Digital Literacy and the Importance of Confidence

 

Part of my current role in Ontario is working with teachers and education leaders to dig into what modern learning really looks like at the level of the “student desk”.

Much of the work in this province is informed by the thinking of Michael Fullan, particularly in his latest publications “Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda“, and  “A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning“.

Fullan’s “Six C’s” (for 21st Century skills) are frequently at the centre of such conversations.

Fullan's "6 C's", explained more fully. (From "A Rich Seam" - http://www.michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/3897.Rich_Seam_web.pdf)
Fullan’s “6 C’s”, explained more fully. (From “A Rich Seam” – http://www.michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/3897.Rich_Seam_web.pdf)

 

Fullan, of course, isn’t the first person to consider the skills needed for today’s world.  Doug Belshaw has spent many years studying and crowd-sourcing his ideas around what digital literacies look like.

 

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The 8 Elements of Digital Literacies, from “The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies”, http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/the-essential-elements-of-digital-literacies

 

Certainly the two groups of “C’s” represent slightly different purposes, but the overlap is obvious, and both inform our thinking about what learning needs to look like in today’s world.

Doug Belshaw: The importance of Confidence as a Digital Literacy component (click the image to link to the source).
Doug Belshaw: The importance of Confidence as a Digital Literacy component (click the image to link to the source).

 

My experience tells me that “Confidence” is a critical aspect of our work as we consider how learning needs to change.  A lack of confidence can be a prohibitive barrier to success in today’s digital spaces.

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Many educators express fear in making their thinking visible through blogging or ePortfolios because others will be critical, or perhaps even reprimand them for thinking differently.  Students, unfortunately, sometimes need to overcome the fear of past experiences to progress in particular subject areas.

Teachers need to feel confident in using new tools to engage learners and redefine what learning looks like in the classroom.

How are we creating the conditions in our classrooms, schools and systems so that all of our learners can develop the confidence they need to participate in, model and facilitate deep learning for everyone?

Further Resources:

Doug Belshaw: Digital Literacies and Web Literacies

Doug Belshaw: The 8 C’s of Digital Literacy

Lyn Hilt on Connected Principals: What is Digital Literacy?

SAMR Model Resources (Kathy Schrock)

 

Credits:

“Confidence” Photo Credit: glsims99 via Compfight cc

Digital Literacy: What Are We Avoiding?

The original blog post begins below the solid line. I have added a number of updates here at the top of the page. You will need to read the original post first to understand the significance of the updates.

Thank you for taking the time to engage in this post.

 

Update November 2015: Here is the link to the July 14 CBC Ontario Today podcast: Is Porn Messing with the Teenaged Brian?

MediaSmarts Resource: Talking to your kids about pornography

Update December 2015: Here is the latest video from the #DearDaddy campaign.  Please protect our girls!

 

_______________________________________________________________________

This is a blog post I have been trying to write for over a month.

It is a sensitive subject, but it is a subject we need to talk about.  By avoiding finishing and publishing this post, I am modelling the very behaviour that I want to draw attention to: avoiding this topic.

Over the last few years as a school leader, I have been appalled at some of the examples of how young men treat the young women at school.  It puzzled me, because I really thought that equality for women had really become the norm.  But more and more, incidents involving the public disrespecting of young women came to my attention.

It wasn’t until I listened to this podcast that I began to have a better understanding of what I might be witnessing:

keyboard in the dark faungg’s photo via Compfight

Generation Porn (caution: explicit material)

“Thirty years ago, a peek at a Playboy centrefold was a rite of passage for teenage boys. Today kids as young as ten can view pornography on smart phones. Hassan Ghedi Santur explores the long-term consequences of this burgeoning exposure to pornography.”

 


Porn is more accessible than it has ever been before.

Porn is no longer just the images from Penthouse and Playboy.  It is violent, degrading, and geared (by the industry) to “tap into the core, basic engines of male sexual arousal”.

cell phone in dark

cc radiant guy via Compfight cc

What do we know?

1) We know that young boys are accessing it.  Anyone with a cell phone can watch porn.

2) There is some research to suggest that porn is dopamine producing and therefore addictive.  Thousands of young men claim to be suffering from or recovering from “porn addiction“, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and sexual disfunction.

3) According to sociologist Gail Dines:  “If you are 11 or 12, you have no repertoire of sexual behaviour to draw on.  So when you go into You Porn or Porn Hub and you see this violent dehumanizing debasing pornography, you can’t say, “You know what, I’ve been with women and they don’t like this, and this isn’t what I want to do.”  You’ve got nothing to draw upon.  This becomes the only thing you have ever seen to define who you are sexually.  That, is great business practice because the earlier you shape the sexual template of a boy, the longer you’ve got him for life”

We do good work in Ontario schools, teaching students to be critical thinkers and to look at how our thinking is influenced by media.

Are we doing a good job of teaching our young people about the real concerns around accessing violent, degrading pornography on a regular basis?