Digital Literacy

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I have been teaching middle school language arts for two years. And in that small amount of time, I have seen first hand how much things have changed since I’ve started teaching. The field of education is always forever changing. It is my job to roll with the punches sort of. I have recently started a master’s program which I am studying literacy and special education. There seems to be a constant upgrade to technology for use in the classroom. I have become aware that I have not been utilizing these technologies like I should. I think that before you can incorporate digital  literacy in your classroom, you first have to understand why it is important and how you will use it in your classroom. I feel like with anything else, the more you use technology the better I hope to become and more proficient. Beetham and Sharpe’s framwork (2010) described digital literacy as a development process from access and functional skills to higher level of capabilities. This will change depending on the context so it reflects how people can be motivated to develop new skills.
Beetham and Sharpepyramid model of digital literacy development model (2010)
Beetham and Sharpe ‘pyramid model’ of digital literacy development model (2010).

I think digital literacy is very important and provides the students that I teach with new opportunities to enhance their learning as well as gives me as the teacher new opportunities to learn something new that I can use in my classroom.  As I was writing this blog post I was thinking about in what ways would incorporating new digital technologies in my classroom be beneficial to me and the students that I teach? Would this be worth my time? Is this just one more thing that I have to add to my already busy day?  I read a article and it explained how digital literacy is very beneficial to students and teachers. Digital literacy provides quality education in flexible and innovative ways, it meets the needs of diverse students, and in the long run it improves employability. I have been reading various articles lately about digital literacy and I wanted to see if I could use this technology in my classroom to help motivate some of my students to read. I figured baby steps would be the best route to go. So last week, I decided to give it a try. I was able to find  two non-fiction stories that goes along with what we are teaching now and I let the students use the I-Pads.  I also gave them a choice as to which story they wanted to read. That seemed to work very very well.We read both stories once as a class then they were to read the story that they choose with either a small group or partners. I was a bit anxious to see how this was going to go. Towards the end of the class period, I was surprised as to how well it went. My kids really enjoyed being able to chose their story and then do a activity to match each story read. I have some ideas as to how I can make it better. But for my first try I think overall it went ok. I know there is more to digital literacy than just reading a story on the I-Pad, but I am looking forward to finding out more ways to incorporate this technology in to my class.

Sources:Developing Digital Literacies: Published: 6 March 2014 | Last updated: 30 April 2014

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