What is a digital world?

My understanding of the digital world has grown from only using social media and mobile devices for leisure, to learning that we are surrounded by digital technology. Digital technologies have redefined what it was to live, study and work in the world (Selwyn, 2012, p. 1). Something I initially thought we could chose to participate in or not when in fact there is no escaping it. A new world exists that is more connected and less divided than ever before. I now understand just how significant an impact digital technology has brought to the world. We are now able to overcome global distance and through the use of mobile technology can change our sense of time and space (Selwyn, 2012, p. 2). The “Cloud” has extended the concept of being surround by technology even further, invoking a vision of digital power that exists around us regardless of our geographical location (Selwyn, 2012, p. 2). The impact of living in a digital world has altered every aspect of our lives, including societal, economic and cultural change (Selwyn, 2012, p. 2).

Reading more accurately into what it means to participate and engage with the digital world, I have realized just how broad that world is. Research taught me that well-adjusted people spend more time involved in social interaction and activities, however in the digital world we now live in the notion of connectedness and the definition of friendship is changing radically (Greengard, 2011, p.17). Through these changes, human interaction is increasingly happening through digital devices. Web pages, online games, search engines, virtual worlds, social media, Internet, e-mail, smart phones, MP-3 players, and digital cameras (Belk 2013), to name a few. Today, with such a myriad of digital technologies, the possibility for ‘self-extension’ that is, to be socially recognized (Cushing, 2011), has never been so extensive.

Aspiring to become an Early Childhood Educator requires that I embrace the digital world in my teaching philosophy. By developing a digital pedagogy (Howell, 2012, p. 5), I now understand that technology more than a tool in the classroom, however, changes how and what children learn (Howell, 2012, p.5).

Teacher Youtube – Living in a digital world

 

References

Cushing, A. (2012) Self extension and the desire to preserve digital possessions. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Vol 48(1). Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/doi/10.1002/meet.2011.14504801304/epdf

Greengard, S. (2011) Living in a Digital World. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM. Vol 54(10). Retrieved from: http://delivery.acm.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1145/2010000/2001277/p17-greengard.pdf?ip=134.7.89.216&id=2001277&acc=PUBLIC&key=65D80644F295BC0D%2E6CA6BDED5A69796F%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35&CFID=592697412&CFTOKEN=10774141&__acm__=1458290657_6e8e48b8076cdbed5ab7c4a90b3a3ff0

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Oxford University Press. Australia and New Zealand.

Selwyn, N. (2012) Education in a digital world: Global perspectives on technology and     education. Hoboken. Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from:       http://reader.eblib.com.au.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/(S(mp0mw4luz1hpwkq4udg0wiev))/Reader.aspx?p=1016089&o=94&u=IYd%2byl0uJ3%2f68%2btdVCP3mg%3d%3d&t=1458289043&h=FE73AAE897EC51DF2B588ED2883B5C5186B7AFB3&s=23632070&ut=240&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n&cms=-1&sd=1#

 

Participation and the digital divide.

In learning about the digital world that surrounds us I was yet to consider the financial aspect of being able to take part in it. Schools are being increasingly asked to bridge the divide between what parents can afford and what society expects children to be fluent in (Howell, 2012, p. 55).  Employers are expecting that job seekers are digitally ready, so potentially this could increase the gap between socio-economic groups. It is concerning that the digital divide is seen as a continuation of the same underlying forces that create any divide between rich vs. poor (James, 2003, p. 4). I now realize that this continuation of a gap means that Lower socio-economic households do not have the same access to technologies that middle and upper-class do (Howell, 2012, p. 57). With the digital world evolving and what has become a crucial element in society, I am relieved to learn that there is research and funding with the aim of bridging this gap. Understanding how crucial it is to provide these amenities to all children as a report by MCEECDYA (Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs) found that a student’s socio-economic background had the biggest effect on their performance in digital fluency (Howell, 2012, p. 57).

Creating a learning environment that is free from discrimination is a large part of any teaching philosophy, I am now beginning to realize just how difficult it is to give all children the rights that they deserve. That is why digital exclusion concerns me as an aspiring teacher when the most vulnerable children are being left behind in this technological revolution (Bentley, 2014).  One in five Australians are not accessing the internet (Bentley, 2014), which is incredibly concerning as there is a whole aspect of our lives that cannot be accessed unless we are connected online. Many government services, job advertisements, and home education, for example, are becoming increasingly only accessible via online resources (Bentley, 2014).  While valuable resources are being promoted in remote communities, which I am currently living in. Issues remain currently with unreliable connectivity, bandwidth speeds and cost, which affect teaching and learning opportunities within schools (Trinidad, 2006, p. 8). The Networking the Nation plan has begun to achieve its aim of connecting all Australians regardless of where they live and is striving to close the digital divide between city and country living (Trinidad, 2006, p. 9).

Other recourses I have found to assist people in low socio-economic brackets, are government assisted programs such as “Solutin,” where people living in social housing are being trialed on offering $10 internet plans per household per month. Along with organizations like “Computerbank” who refurbish computers for people in low-income brackets (Bentley, 2014). In more recent years it is comforting to know that hardware has become affordable to most people which means that using digital technology in the classroom is more affordable than ever.

 

 

References

Bentley, P. (2014) Lack of affordable broadband creating ‘digital divide’. ABC news Melbourne. Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Oxford University Press. Australia and New Zealand.

Jeffery, J. (2003) Bridging the digital divide. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. Retrieved From: http://reader.eblib.com.au.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/(S(goo1kdrdtp5yhwviqd3j2qfa))/Reader.aspx?p=716130&o=94&u=IYd%2byl0uJ3%2f68%2btdVCP3mg%3d%3d&t=1458193343&h=950EE2152C728D6C10BA92A2C0073B6285CA9E2F&s=23604985&ut=240&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n&cms=-1&sd=1

Trinidad, S. (2006) Closing the digital divide: education telecommunications systems and possibilities in Western Australia. Australian Computers in Education Conference. Cairns, Queensland. Retrieved from: http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1458278645073~226&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

 

 

Digital Fluency

Before studying this area of participating in the digital world, I had initially presumed that digital fluency was something that we all had. However, I now understand digital fluency to be the ability to use digital technology in a confident manner (Howell, 2012, p. 13). Although we are all members of a global information society, I am now beginning to understand that not all people are digitally fluent and that what I had thought of as digital fluency was more directed to the social aspects which seem to be restricted to recreational uses of technology rather than for educational purposes. (Howell, 2012, p. 13). I have learned the need for teachers to develop a digital pedagogy for children to become digitally fluent during their schooling so they can carry these skills into post-school life.

Teaching in a digital world means that students today have different needs, skills, goals, and requirements than those from previous generations (Howell, 2012, p. 13). Now that technology is being increasingly used for educational purposes, Multi-functional applications, advanced hardware, and network technology offer new possibilities for supporting new ways of learning, collaborating and communicating information (Wang, Wiesemes & Gibbons, 2012, p. 570). The definitions of computer literacy and digital fluency are now extended and separates those who just ‘look up information on the web, use a computer and send emails’ to the analogy of ‘learning and mastering a foreign language’ (Wang, Wiesemes & Gibbons, 2012, p. 571).

GenDivide-cartoon

Children who were born from the 1980s onwards have grown up with exposure to the Internet and mobile devices. These children are ‘digital natives’ (Howell, 2012, p. 6) who think and process information fundamentally differently from the generations before them, the ‘digital immigrants’ (Howell, 2012, p. 6) who have learned to use technology at some stage in their adult lives (Wang, Myers & Sundaram, 2013, p. 409). Digital fluency has become a vital concept to explore technology-enhanced learning.

To participate in the digital world, both teachers and students need to develop digital fluency (National Research Council, 1999) as cited by (Santos & Marilla, 2013). The pedagogical uses of digital technologies for learning are relevant even to pre-services teachers like myself.

 

 

References

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Oxford University Press. Australia and New Zealand.

Santos, L., & Marilla, D. (2013) Teacher’s Digital Fluency: A New Competence for Foreign Language Teaching. Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada. Vol.13(3). Retrieved from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1984-63982013000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Wang, R., Wiesemes, R., & Gibbins, C. (2012) Developing digital fluency through ubiquitous mobile devices: Findings from a small-scale study. Computers & Education. Vol 58(1). Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0360131511002193

Wang, Q., Myers, M., & Sundaram, D. (2013) Digital natives and digital immigrants. Business & Information Systems Engineering. Vol.5(6). Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12599-013-0296-y#/page-1

 

Image curtesy of:

Morin, R (2016) Girl and father generational divide. Retrieved from: http://curatti.com/generation-c-family-affair/

 

 

Teaching Resource 1

Prezi – My body

Evaluation Matrix

Name of teaching resource

“My Body”

Weblink (if web based)

http://prezi.com/k3g7py10qlul/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

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

Kindergarten / Grade 1

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

Whole class

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

Health and Physical Education – Personal, Social and Community Health. (ACPS001, ACPPS003)

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

The resource zooms in to the topics one at a time to help young students know what part is being discussed. The layout is simple and short which is perfect for this age group as the questions are prompts to having group discussions rather than students having to click and access information themselves it is prompted for them. It engages students by involving them in discussions. The use of media helps engage children in begining to discuss a topic that can be difficult to approach.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

The design and layout is very simplistic, the same could be attained from using a book or simply having a discussion around the questions raised without the need for this visual aid. There is not much content, which although ideal for this age, it may not be engaging enough to be considered worthwhile. The design is quite plain and use of color is minimal.

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

Including more visually appealing focus points – more images to convey ideas rather than text.  Also the use of video and sound would be more engaging.

 

Teaching Resource 2

Powtoon – Different Languages

 

Evaluation Matrix

 

Name of teaching resource

“Different Languages”

Weblink (if web based)

https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentation/eY9HivdFYJ2/?mode=movie#/

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

Kindergarten – Grade 1

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

Whole class

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

English – Language : Language variation and change (ACELA1426)

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

Simple effective story-line to open up discussion and involve children to share their own family/culture. To be used as an introduction to group discussion around different languages.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

The speed of the resource may be a little fast, with a lot of text for children to follow. They would most likely need help slowing it down and reading it aloud to understand it.

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

Slow down the pace of the resource, play with more color and background, and incorporate a recorded voice over to read the text aloud. Perhaps make the resource a little longer with more slides around different places around the world.