What skills or attributes of an innovative educator, such as problem-solving and flexibility with technology, can I model to 3rd grade students and connect to their development in digital fluency?
In today society saturated with technology, there is a pressing need in education not only to teach students to use technology but also skills of when to use it, what to use it for, and ultimately how to maximize efficiency and utility from different digital resources. A digitally literate person is capable of using technological tools but a digitally fluent individual maximizes the positive effect and executes them with comfort (Briggs, 2011). Digital fluency is not only an achievable hope for students, but also a matter of mastery and utility for teachers in order to model its uses. In what contexts can I demonstrate effective uses of technology? What are the underlying characteristics or skills I want my students to practice that will develop a critical-thinking, problem-solving approach to technology?
According to Kivunja in order for students to be considered job ready in the 21st century they must integrate digital literacy skills with other traditional core skills, learning and innovation skills, and career and life skills (2014, pg. 86). Essentially, digital fluency as part of developing pedagogy comes from a distinctly interpersonal form of self-reflection, feedback, and growth. Especially within the career and life skills are attributes such as receiving and giving feedback. In addressing my triggering question, one of the ways to prepare students for growth in their own digital fluency is to teach students how to deal with praise and criticism and to translate and leverage feedback into future results. By incorporating self-reflection for students, and also modeling to students what effective self-reflection looks and sounds like, I can help students develop those critical thinking skills to more deeply process their learning.
Another key skill of an innovative educator, and students, is collaboration. In an Edutopia article introduced to me by Anna, one of the first steps of embedding technology throughout content areas is by first using it to connect to other teachers. Open source documents such as GoogleDocs for example are an excellent way to springboard discussions across students and teachers and share ideas in multiple classrooms. Other teachers can access each others work, conversations, and assignments and provide asynchronous feedback to one another which can cut down meeting times and capitalize on projects that come out of casual spaces. By practicing collaboration as educators we can better serve students to the point of even inviting them to collaborate with use as well.
The Edutopia article also suggests providing students with creative ways to extend content learning such as narrative writing into a a video presentation with sound recording and editing. By modifying a writing assignment into a more holistic storytelling sharing students not only can display their own individuality but work together with other students to share their work. This collaboration between students using technology as a medium would be an excellent scaffolding activity towards digital fluency.
C., Briggs. (2011, Feb. 5). The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency [Web log entry]. Retrieved from http://www.socialens.com/blog/2011/02/05/the-difference-between-digital-literacy-and-digital-fluency/
Edutopia (2016, Jan. 5). Tech Literacy: Making It Relevant Through Content Learning. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/practice/tech-literacy-making-it-relevant-through-content-learning
Kivunja, C. (2014). Do You Want Your Students to Be Job-Ready with 21st Century Skills? Change Pedagogies: A Pedagogical Paradigm Shift from Vygotskyian Social Constructivism to Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Siemens’ Digital Connectivism. International Journal of Higher Education, 6(3), 81-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v3n3p81