Digital Literacy and Multitasking

This week I just want to mention a couple of articles that might interest you. The first is entitled Digital Literacy in the Primary Classroom. This is not an article about what technology to use in second grade, but instead how to frame our use of technology within the larger, more meaningful context of cultivating digital literacy in our students. About three years ago Doug Belshaw came up with the Eight C’s of Digital Literacy: Cultural [Cu], Cognitive [Cg], Constructive [Cn], Communication [Co], Confidence [Cf], Creative [Cr], Critical [Ct], and Civic [Ci]. This article briefly describes how each of these eight strategies might look in the classroom. From the article:

It is not enough to think that digital literacy is only to be looked at during technology lessons or whilst using a computer. The challenge is how we as teachers can foster digital literacy in all areas of the school curriculum. Children today are born into a digital world, they are surrounded by more and more digital technology as they grow up and making sense of this is something we cannot take for granted. Many children do show they are confident users of different types of technology but it is our responsibility to ensure children are not only confident users but can also make informed decisions about the use of such digital technologies to help them in their learning.

The second resource I would like to share takes on the topic of multitasking, With Tech Tools, How Should Teachers Tackle Multitasking in School? This article speaks to a concern I have that students are less likely to do the deeper thinking we would like to see them do. Often technology is cited as the root of this problem. Students get used to the “fast fix” and they don’t want to do the harder work. Technology is almost second nature to students; they often only need very basic instruction, if any, to get them started using a new technology tool. But students do need instruction and guidance in how best to use these tools, how to select the best tech tool for an assignment, how to stay focused on their goals, and how to know when a project is complete and well-done. This is not an easy task for teachers; it’s pretty hard. But it’s what we need to focus on for our students to get what they should from technology use. So I’ll quote that first article again, “Many children do show they are confident users of different types of technology but it is our responsibility to ensure children are not only confident users but can also make informed decisions about the use of such digital technologies to help them in their learning.”

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