Digital Literacy

I think that being literate in today’s society means that you are able to read/view something, use critical thinking, comprehend it and then determine whether or not it is credible. Unfortunately, there is so much fake information (photos, news, videos, articles, etc.) out there that we need to be teaching our students the skills they will need to determine what is real and what isn’t.

In the reading Media Literacy for the 21st Century: Interview with Renee Hobbs, EdD, Renee says that there are five inter-related competencies that are needed by both teachers and students to understand participate in contemporary culture. I really like that she included teachers and that it is not just an issue that students need to worry about. If teachers don’t practice the skills that they are teaching to their students, it won’t work. The five competencies are: access, analysis, create and collaborate, and reflect and take-action.

In this week’s class the idea of lateral reading was presented to us. I had never heard of lateral reading before, but realized how important it is to teach our students about this concept. I found an awesome video from the website Let’s Learn English With Me (which on a side note has some pretty neat stuff to use in a literacy class) that explains what lateral reading is, as well as many other concepts that are important to teach when talking about digital citizenship.

On top of lateral reading skills, students need to be creative and build critical thinking skills. In my EDL 825 class I read a reading about creativity in schools called Measuring What Matters: Creativity in Schools that stated “Creativity also requires the capacity for critical thinking. Creativity and critical thinking can be seen to complement one another: being creative without the skills to assess the process and products of creativity is an incomplete creative act ” (Upitis, R (2014). Creativity; The State of the Domain. In Measuring What Matters, People for Education. Toronto: November 8, 2014). In Michala’s blog this week she listed some 21st Century Skills that students will need. One part of it said “Divergent thinkers and critical thinkers contribute to our world of knowledge. Our world has become more dependent on knowledge-workers who can solve problems.” I think that part of our job as teachers is teaching students about critical thinking skills. There are so many times in my day that I have students giving up or asking how to do something. I am a very big believer in having them work it our themselves, with guidance from me, not just handing it to them on a plate.

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