What is a Digital World?

Written summation: Week 1, What is a Digital World?

A digital world can be described as the world in which internet and access to information is at the tips of our fingers. A digital world is where the technology is continually changing in order to make our lives stress-free and more efficient. Our role as teachers in this ever changing world is essential in creating active citizens and the personal development of the child (Howell, 2012).

This video highlights how rapidly our world has transformed into a digital one, and the impact it has had on a group of individuals. (Digital World relevance starts from 0:36 seconds to 1:04).

How can we create digital classrooms?

While technology is clearly becoming essential for many adults, more and more young Australians are also using and depending on technology in their everyday lives. For this reason teachers should unquestionably be active in creating classrooms that make use of similar technologies that are already being used by students. Prensky (2008) believes that the key to creating a digital learner is by getting information directly from the source i.e. the students. Receiving input by the students can help focus the teacher on what kind of technologies can be brought into the classroom. As each student learns differently, gaining insight into what will motivate and help the students learn is invaluable.

This TED talk (below) by Sir Ken Robinson (2006) argues that schools are stifling students’ creativity. I believe to some extent that this is true and as educators creating an environment where the students can flourish through the use of technology is very beneficial.

The importance of staying up to date with digital technologies

As previously mentioned the digital world we are living in is constantly changing, this means that as  teachers we need to be staying up to date with digital technologies, especially the technologies that are being utilized within the classroom. Staying up to date with digital technologies includes refreshing skills i.e. understanding how to use iPad’s or the interactive white board; it also consists of doing research on new apps, games or other technologies that become newly created and can be incorporated within the classroom. However, when introducing a new app, game or technology device into the classroom, the teacher should have a clear goal for its use.

The Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) (2008) reinforce the importance of staying up to date with digital technologies:

In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT. While schools already employ these technologies in learning, there is a need to increase their effectiveness significantly over the next decade. (MCEETYA, 2008)

References

Cibis, P. (n.d). [Cover Image] Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=digital+world&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjflZWyzLnTAhVItJQKHUfoAT8Q_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#imgrc=X4CHsytQp1lVOM:

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

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Carlton: Curriculum Corporation.

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-Century Digital Learner. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-200

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Participation and the Digital Divide

Auditory summation: Week 4, Participation and the Digital Divide

Follow the link to the Voki presentation focusing on the Week 4 topic ‘Participation and the Digital Divide.’

http://www.voki.com/presenter/playPresentation.php?id=2ebd26f31dfcd207020558e785f075ea

Following is the script to my Voki.

The phrase “digital divide” refers to the gap that exists between those who have an easy access to technologies and information tools, to those who have limited or no access. The reason for such a divide may include factors such as the socio‐economic area, geography, level of education within the family, or it may be through physical disabilities (Cullen, 2001). As a teacher in the 21st Century it is important to acknowledge these factors exist and work together as a school community to bridge the digital divide. In doing so, it will allow every student with the opportunity to participate fully within the classroom through the use of technology.

What can we, as digital educators, do to bridge the divide?

As educators we can get involved within the school community and get to know our students, this will help in knowing whether or not students and their families have access to technologies such as the internet. A study conducted by Shannon (2014) incorporated the use of iPad’s within Year One classrooms; it showed that through the use of funding it is possible to provide these technologies to every student. However, in some low socio-economic areas this kind of funding for every student may be a difficult task and teachers will have to utilize other resources such as allocating extra sessions within a computer lab to ensure maximum student participation.

See HERE what Australian companies are doing in order to aide families and help in bridging the digital divide.

Digital technology and oral language

When carefully planned and researched the use of technology can become an exciting tool that enhances learning opportunities and outcomes for students. Within the same study conducted by Shannon, it was clear that through the use of the iPad students were drawn into a social world where they communicated positively with one another. The study also showed that through the use of authentic and appropriate apps, the students began to question more and develop comprehension and oral language skills. Shannon (2014) stated “It’s not what happens on the iPad, it’s what happens because of the iPad”.

References 

Cullen, R. (2001). Addressing the digital divide. Online Information Review, Vol. 25 Issue: 5, pp.311-320, doi: 10.1108/14684520110410517

Nacu, D. (n.d). [Cover Image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=digital+divide&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi40ICSzbnTAhXEFZQKHet6ATYQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#imgrc=8_xx4GCmJqLFGM:

Shannon, J. (2014). Building oral language through the iPad project: The journey. Practically Primary, 19(2), 37-40.

Digital Identities and Digital Security

Visual summation: Week 2, Digital Identities and Digital Security.

Explore the Week 2 topic on ‘Digital Identities and Digital Security,’ in the Prezi presentation included below (click on the link provided)

https://prezi.com/p/dnfhvspbyvvz/

References are included at the end of the Prezi, the videos and quizzes are live links and take you to their source, as such they are not required in the reference list.

References

LinkedIn. (n.d). [Cover Image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=digital+identities&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFidLhzrnTAhWFybwKHfdwA4UQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#imgrc=rzPYleeaN0umdM:

Final Reflection

Prior to beginning this course I thought I was doing well in keeping up to date with media, technology and the latest apps, however, I have come to realize upon completing this assessment task I still have a lot to learn and discover.  I have learnt that the digital world, in which we live, is here to stay and is constantly changing so as a future educator I need to explore further and update my technological skills. White (2013) believes that in this digital age a range of new skills is required in order to keep up with the change. Through the creation of these summations I have discovered new tools that can definitely be beneficial within a classroom setting.  I have learnt how to create a blog through WordPress, create audible animations through Voki and make interesting presentations through Prezi.

Through creating these different types of summations I was forced out of my comfort zone of writing or using a power point in order to convey a message, I was able to experience a wider range of technology and through exploration I have found a new confidence in using different digital tools. These different tools have informed my understanding of teaching and learning in a digital world, I learnt how to problem solve, organise and construct new tools in order to share information and communicate my ideas through a digital tool.  Holland (2013) believes that if students experience these same lessons like problem solving and communicating ideas through digital tools, then their technology fluency will develop and it will help in preparing them to becoming digital learners.  Digital technology also allows students an opportunity to become creative, use their imagination and ‘think outside the box’.

Additional Inclusion

While I am a promoter in the importance of updating technology skills and bringing more digital tools into the classroom, I also believe that ‘unplugging’ from the digital world even for a short time can have benefits also. For further information and reasons on why to unplug see ‘7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space’ HERE.

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(Pinterest, n.d. )

References 

Holland, B. (2013). Building Technology Fluency: Preparing Students to be Digital Learners. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-tech-fluency-digital-learners-beth-holland

Pinterest. (n.d). Forest Wi-Fi Connection [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=wifi+connection+image&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK-JuH0LnTAhVEpJQKHXJADj4Q_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#tbm=isch&q=tree+wifi+connection+image&imgrc=Z-1k3WsKNg5fNM:

RamPages. (n.d). [Cover Image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=reflection&rlz=1C1FERN_enAU613AU613&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjt7sXKz7nTAhUBN5QKHZx3BjYQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=638#tbm=isch&q=reflection+thinking&imgrc=dSVS2BPxwj33MM:

White, G. (2013). Digital fluency for the digital age. Retrieved from http://rd.acer.edu.au/article/digital-fluency-for-the-digital-age