This week we focused on the skills needed to participate and learn in a Digital World and if your actions in your private life can influence and transfer into your Digital World. Online participation and skills learned in areas such as Facebook, gaming and text messaging can transfer effectively and efficiently to educational technology. I do however find that some transferable skills and practices create some negative effects. Issues such as poor spelling, shortened words and a decrease in some thought processes with easily accessible information are present in some digital students.
IN THE CLASSROOM
At the beginning of this week, the idea of creating a game was a daunting one as I had never experienced this before and had trouble linking it to education. While having a look at Scratch and Sploder, I began to understand the concept of gaming and education and the relationship between the two. When creating the game, problem solving was used with obstacles to overcome to reach an end goal. Using gaming in lessons is a controversial topic however I believe that games are interactive, engage students and it relates to their personal Digital Worlds. It amazed me to learn about the benefits of gaming in education such as fine motor skills, hand eye coordination development as well as using both hemispheres of the brain. As an Arts major, I would use this resource in a game design lesson plan to enhance learning. Technology is also a useful tool in regional areas. It allows us to open up virtual worlds to the students that they would otherwise never experience. As teachers, we need to think outside the box and challenge students while making learning enjoyable.
GAMING AND EDUCATION
Howell, J. (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World. Mod 02-04, Week 7. Retrieved from: https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/9d8a1cd3-f679-4184-8791-6765f6454274
Gershenfeld, A. (N/A). Why Gaming Could Be the Future of Education. Retrieved from: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-gaming-could-be-the-future-of-education/
Palmer, A. (2013). Gaming and Education – Engagement in learning. Retrieved from: http://gamingandeducationengagementinlearning.com/
This week’s topic moved focus to teaching and learning in a Digital World – Digital Information and Fluency. We explored the types of suitable, reliable content available online and what skills we need to become digitally fluent to allow us to successfully interpret this information.
This week challenged my thinking and introduced many different resources and tools such as Pinterest, Diigo, Tagxedo, Trove and Pandora. Prior to this week, I was unaware of these useful tools and have further developed on my previous knowledge and Digital Fluency. Online resources such Diigo are a great and easily accessible space in which to keep information relating to teaching, similar to a filing cabinet online.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Being Digitally Fluent means having the skills to ethically and proficiently use information, research, and evaluate digital information. Most students in classrooms today are active participants in the digital world and therefore are digital learners. As Jennifer Howell explains, there are multiple messages within one piece of information and these can all be interpreted differently. Within the classroom environment, it is important to think about the students differing learning styles and to specifically use use digital information successfully. Digital Fluency among students is hard to measure and active participation varies between individuals. When also taking into account the Digital Divide, students will be sitting at various levels of technology access. To enhance the learning experience and develop students digital fluency, students need to be taught the relevant skills for example; how to search for information with key words and symbols (boolean, truncation and wildcards techniques) and how to interpret information from text, video, links, photos and so on. Students should be exposed and engaged in various programs to promote autodidacticism (self education). The majority of digital learning happens through personal exploration and practical application.
Pinterest will now be a powerful tool and resource that I will use in my professional teaching life. Digital information can be curated and is readily accessible in this sharing website, inspiring ideas and generating new and challenging lessons. When selecting content and information for lessons, accurate and authentic information must be used. Websites with .gov or .edu are good indicators of a reliable source. As teachers we have a responsibility to protect and appropriately educate the students. All participants in the classroom (teacher and student) need to be critical users of information technology.
Link to my Pinterest page:
Howell, J. (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World. Mod 02-03, Week 6. Retrieved from: https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e48e0050
Manus. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital
Resnick, M. (2002). Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age. Retrieved from:
White, G. (2013). Digital Fluency: Skills Necessary for the learning n the digital age. Retrieved from: http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning
Using the information learned last week, we further developed on the idea of Digital Identity and explored Digital Security. This relates to a person’s online safety or wellbeing and what precautions can be taken against possible security risks to protect themselves. We also touched on the concept of Digital Divide which is the gap between demographics and regions that have access to ICT (information and communications technology) and specifically relating this to students.
Two aspects of digital security that I learned about was the pushing out of information and receiving of information. It challenged me to break down these concepts and look deeper into the issues.
IN THE CLASSROOM
As a teacher I need to be aware of digital security issues and modify my practices in the classroom to promote digital safety.
Issues of the digital age:
- Identity theft
One of the main issues in schools is Cyberbullying. It is important to teach students that the same rules apply in the online world as in the physical world. As a teacher, I will raise awareness about Cyberbullying and educate students about the emotional and legal consequences to their actions online. Students will be aware of and acknowledge their online behaviour. Firm rules and regulations must be in place and be resolved. Students will learn that Digital Technology can be used to help people and create positive relationships. As a teacher, I will endeavour to create a safe classroom environment where students will feel open to report abuse and share their feelings. Students identify greatly with their online presence and as a teacher, I must continually educate myself on strategies and practices for the issues related to Digital Security.
The Digital Divide is something that is apparent in all classrooms. It is important to strive to close this Digital Divide and identify those student who have limited access to technology. Producing an Infographic focused on Australian statistics was interesting and educational and really challenged my ideas of technology in schools. It is easy to assume that everyone has access to the Internet and technology and I have learned that this is not always the case.
MY DIGITAL DIVIDE INFOGRAPHIC
INFORMATION GRAPHS RELATING TO THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN AUSTRALIA
Clifford, M. (2012). 15 Strategies Educators Can Use to Stop Cyberbullying. Retrieved From: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/15-strategies-educators-can-use-to-stop-cyberbullying/#ixzz3CPBoq9JP
Howell, J. (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World. Mod 01 04, Topic 3. Retrieved from: https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/1636447f-aa10-42de-bec3-f6fe6f44932e
Howell, J. (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World. Mod 01, Topic 4. Retrieved from:https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/daff1472-9ce5-4535-a2b1-74fdb4bf6d47
Young Upstarts (2013). Value Of An Average Singaporean’s Digital Content? $57,500. Retrieved from: http://www.youngupstarts.com/2013/05/29/singaporeinfographic-value-of-an-average-singaporeans-digital-content-57500/
Week ones topic prompted us to explore our personal Digital Worlds as a student and also our future professional Digital Worlds after we graduate. We looked at our Digital Identities and how we present ourselves online as well as aspects of control and development of our online presence.
When confronted with the task of looking at my daily technology use, I realised that I am consumed by it. I use it as a student, as an employee and as an individual. Digital technologies are redesigning the way we learn, communicate and work. I have evolved with technology and looking back to my past primary school education, the use of encyclopedias, pens and paper to complete tasks was the standard. Today, students can type words into a search engine and be presented with endless information within seconds. We are spending more and more time online and this week’s second topic introduced me to the idea of Digital Identity. This challenged my current ideas about identity, prompted me to view them as separate entities (Digital and Physical) and explore the relationship between the two. Your Digital Identity is made up of information and data that you present online about yourself. It can include email, usernames and passwords, personal data, identifiers, photographs and online contributions. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, have a significant role in forming and presenting your personal digital identity to the world online.
IN THE CLASSROOM
After researching and discussing this topic, I believe it to be important to teach students in the classroom how to safely interact online using managed digital identities and protect the students from unsuitable content in the Digital World. Students are asked to regularly participate in online learning and need to be educated on how to manage their personal information in different contexts to prevent vulnerability. Teachers should also be aware of trending sites and content that needs to be blocked from the computers and Wi-Fi connection. Students should be taught that people might make judgements about them when searching them online from the information they provide. Without meeting in person, future employers, potential partners and other people can make assessments about them and it can affect their physical lives as well as their digital ones.
Education Queensland refers to the potential risks that can occur when having an Digital Identity as the four ‘Cs’:
- Content: this is content that may be unsuitable for viewers or potentially illegal, offensive or pirated content.
- Contact: this may be unwelcome or inappropriate contact such as harassment or sexual contact.
- Conduct: this could be as a recipient or as an active participant, giving out too much personal information or the bullying or harassment of another person.
- Commerce: this could be methods of identity theft, violation of privacy, collection of personal information used by companies, impersonation or bank fraud.
A good rule for students is to think before they post. Students should be aware that there are consequences for online behaviour and their posts or comments not only affect them, but other people too. This rule also applies to teachers. I have found these ethical and controversial questions are commonly asked such as ‘should teachers accept friend requests from students on Facebook?’ ‘Should teachers statuses and photos be scrutinised and have consequences in their professional teaching lives?’ I learned the importance of privacy a few years ago when some student found my Facebook profile and could see my information and photos. Since that day, I am aware of my privacy and continuously develop and adjust my Digital Identity accordingly.
MY MIND MAP OF REGULAR TECHNOLOGY USE
MANAGING YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY
Australian Communications and Media Authority, (2013). Digital footprints and identities research – community attitudinal research. Melb. VIC: ACMA. Retrieved from: http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Regulatory%20Frameworks
My name is Summer and this is my critical reflection from weeks 1 – 4 of the unit TECHNOLOGIES TO ENGAGE LEARNERS 560. I will be discussing my experiences within the unit, reflecting on the content and exploring its possible applications to my teaching practice.
This blog follows my journey through the unit and reflects on each weeks learning, giving examples of my online completed work. I will discuss which content challenged me, what I have learned from the activities and how I might apply this learning in a classroom practice to support teaching and learning.