The digital world is our oyster!

digital world image twoIn reflecting on Week One’s board discussions pertaining to the evolution of the digital age, I would define the current digital world as one that is connected and influenced by the progression of mobile technologies. Over the course of time, it is evident that the development of these technologies, play such a pivotal role in the digital worlds that exist within our homes, work, and the wider community, but most importantly within our schools.

For this reason, Howell (2012) proposes that teachers should practice effective digital pedagogy by not only attaining the required skills and knowledge on current digital technologies but also by improving their attitude towards the emergence of new technologies. As a future teacher, I understand that the relevance of this is to keep up-to-date with the generation that Howell (2012) acknowledges as the ‘digital natives’. “Educators face the constant challenge of refining teaching and learning techniques to keep up with increasing demands and expectations of students” (Howell, 2012, p.6).digital world image three

The growing use of interactive whiteboards, iPads and web-based learning tools are known to be successful in bridging the gap that exists between the different worlds of learners and educators, with the aim of course being, to instruct students on the responsible ways to use these technologies. So how else can the parallel digital worlds of ‘digital immigrants’ and ‘digital natives’ (Howell, 2012) be interconnected?digital world image one

According to Prensky (2008), the key to successfully understanding the educational needs of students’ is by teachers actively engaging with them through considering and discussing their ideas and opinions. In effect, this not only strengthens the educator/learner relationship, but also encourages the development of both academic and 21st Century learning skills (Prensky, 2008). I suppose, as a pre-service teacher the crucial thing I need to remember about the digital world, is that technologies evolve simultaneously with the minds of these learners and if we ‘digital immigrants’ can develop a connection with both, then potential opportunities are limitless!

References

Armitage, C. (2012). Devices weave our brains into a twist [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/7690478/Devices-weave-our-brains-into-a-twist

Expand your world and go beyond. (2015). Digital world [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.expand-your-world.com/?page_id=23

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

Museum Victoria.(2011). Interactive PDF Trial [Image]. Retrieved from http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-blog/dec-2011/interactive-pdf-trial/

OklahomaHorizonTV. ( 2014, July 31). Bringing Education into the Digital World. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlpBc206_nY

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

Secure your digital identity!!

digital identity image oneI once assumed that our digital identity begins and only exists online, however more often than not, the conditions, environment and circumstances we create and are surrounded by offline are contributing factors to our online digital makeup. We all have something to say and the online platforms to express these thoughts and opinions are generally through social media forums such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Nevertheless, we should be wary that the online activities we undertake, enables digital accessibility which makes us more traceable.digital identity image two

Thus, Howell (2014a) suggests that as current and future educators, perhaps we should manage and control our digital identities by separating our personal one from our professional online personality (Howell, 2014a). An example is using LinkedIn for professional use and Facebook for social use, which I have now applied to my own online identities.

digital world cyberbullying imageBut how can we ensure our digital identity is protected?  Howell (2014b) indicates that from a teaching perspective, there is a need for teachers to be educated on immoral online behaviour such as cyberbullying, internet scams and identity theft. I agree that this will ensure that we not only practice safer online habits but also advocate and educate our ‘digital natives’ about them, especially as they are more susceptible to online harassment. “The main risk to preadolescents and adolescents online today are risks from each other, risks of improper use of technology, lack of privacy, sharing too much information, or posting false information about themselves or others”. (O’Keefe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011, p.3). I have learnt that as a future teacher, I will have a responsibility to educate my students on their right to digital security by arming them with the knowledge and skills they need to be safe online, in the same way I would expect to teach them how to be safe in the world offline. After all as the below video illustrates, what goes online, stays online!

References –

Alobeid, D. (2014). Social Media and Journalism: An Intrinsically Linked Organism [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/social-media-journalism-intrinsically-linked-organism-0888196#!bsHeVKCanStockPhoto. (2015). Cyber bullying [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/cyber-bullying.html

Common Sense Education. (2011, May 2). Privacy Student Intro Video – The Digital Footprint [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHYkWtI7004

Howell, J. (2014a). Learning and Living in a Digital World. Topic 02: Digital Identities [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/

Howell, J. (2014b). Learning and Living in a Digital World. Topic 03: Digital Security  [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/

O’Keeffe, G.S & Clarke-Pearson, K (2011). Clinical Report—The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/4/800.full.pdf+html

Palter, J. (2014). New Rules of Engagement: Social Media strategies for great advisor-client relationships [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.thedigitalfa.com/jaypalter/new-rules-of-engagement-social-media-strategies-for-great-advisor-client-relationships/

To be or not to be digitally fluent…

In reflecting on the last few weeks of my own online studies, I did not anticipate that digital fluency was essential for learning. But what is digital fluency? Bologa, Lupu and Sabau (2009) states that “a person is considered to be digitaly fluent when he/she can act creatively in a digital environment” (Bologa et.al, 2009). It is evident that innovative developments in the internet and digital technologies have had a dramatic effect on the way people communicate and obtain information in the digital era. But what impact does this have on education?

The insight I have gained from Week Five content is that ultimately, it changes what and how students learn in the in 21st Century. It is expected that prior to entering high school, students should have gained a sufficient level of knowledge and proficiency in web searching experience, basic computer software programme applications such as Microsoft Office, blogging, creating podcasts and a comprehension of technological terminology (Howell, 2012, p. 139). Consequently, this entry level information prepares the ‘digital natives’ to further develop digital fluency as they enter secondary and tertiary education. From this, we can explore a plethora of key skills that students can achieve such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication (White, G.K, 2013 p.4).digital fluency image

Prior to studying, I was oblivious to web based learning tools such as Storify or Pikochart. Furthermore, I had never created a blog before, much less understood the relevance of blogging until now. It is safe to say then, that my own learning experience supports the idea that these learning applications play a crucial part in extending digital fluency. However, it is not enough to simply educate students on what technologies to use or even how to use them. What is vital is that they grasp an understanding of when to use them and why they are using them. I hope to teach future students the significance of this is, in acquiring digital fluency!

References –

Benson, J. (2015). Flourish Learning [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.flourishlearning.org/

Bilisim Teknolojileri. (2013, March 22). 21st Century Skills [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwJIhZcAd0I

Bologa, R., Lupu, A.R., & Sabau, G. (2009) Elements that Advocate the Nurturing of Digital Fluency. 2009 International Conference on Future Networks, 83-86. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5189904

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. Australian Council for Educational Research. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning

Evaluation Matrix – Pinterest

Evaluation Matrix

Name of teaching resource

Pinterest

Weblink (if web based)

https://www.pinterest.com/jparlour/teaching-with-pinterest/

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

During the research process, I found Pinterest to be a useful curation learning tool that would appeal more to the learning needs of visual learners like Primary school grades one to six.

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

Howell (2012) mentions developing digital content creators through collaborative learning (Howell, 2012, p.173). Pinterest would develop this skill in team based projects where students may have to discuss, create, contribute and explain their team’s virtual board.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

Pinterest’ capability to ‘pin’ ideas, images, links and videos from other boards relating to specific topics through the search bar, makes sharing information exciting and easy to use in all Primary school subjects from Maths to Science.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

Some advantages that I have encountered from Pinterest are:

·         Encourages online community networking by following others and inviting followers

·         Visually engaging

·         Easy to use

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

There is potential to pin some content such as images or other media that may require permission from the original source, therefore I would educate students on recognising copyright issues with this resource.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

Flintoff, Mellow and Pickett Clark (2014) mention that one of the attributes that make a good curation tool is the ability to share with the “wider community” (Flintoff, Mellow and Pickett Clark, 2014). An open news board for parents, teachers and students can be created where events, reviews and general school information can be shared and viewed.

References

Flintoff, K., Mellow, P. & Clark, K. P. (2014). Digital curation: Opportunities for learning, teaching, research and professional development. Teaching and Learning Forum 2014. Retrieved from http://ctl.curtin.edu.au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/tlf2014/refereed/flintoff.html

Teaching Resource Two – Storify

The second teaching resource I have chosen is Storify. It is a digital curation tool used to cull relevant content that relate to a specific subject matter, from various media sources such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.Retrieving the latest posts, videos and links from these outlets enables the user to create their own stories. The link is an example of creating a multimedia book report.

https://storify.com/JayPee/wuthering-heights#publicize

Evaluation Matrix – Storify

Evaluation Matrix

Name of teaching resource

Storify

Weblink (if web based)

https://storify.com/JayPee/wuthering-heights#publicize

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Using Storify in a Week Four activity enabled me to recognise that a significant understanding of social media is required to use this resource. Therefore the ‘digital natives’ (Howell, 2012),  in higher grades seven to twelve who are avid online social networkers, might benefit more from using Storify.

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

By high school, achieving skills in using creative digital technologies is vital (Howell, 2012).  I would illustrate to future students how Storify can be effective in acquiring this skill through individual project compilations.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

As a future teacher, I would use Storify in areas where presentation, research and writing skills are more applicable such as English, Science and the Humanities subjects.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

·         Facility to drop and drag content from media into the story

·         Ability to arrange content in preference order

·         Built-in tool to notify owners that you are citing their work

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

·         Limited design options unless the user pays

·         Sorting and selecting relevant content may be time consuming

·         No up-load button option to add original images

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

To further develop communication and collaborative learning skills (Howell, 2012), Storify could be used as a digital notebook to create opposing arguments on various current or past issues in a debating environment.

References

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