What is a Digital World?

The digital world also referred to as our digital world is the world we create when connecting through technology and what that technology then enables us to do (Howell, 2012). Everyone’s digital world is different, and individuals can be a part of many different digital worlds for each circle of their life. We live in the digital world and students that are born into the new ‘digital age’ (Gallo, 2013) are learning how digital technologies have an integral role in society, and necessary for a student to succeed in education (Vaidyanathan, 2012).

Student’s that have been raised in the digital world are proficient with most technologies and their applications, however it is up to the teacher to introduce them to tools that help education. For this to happen the teacher needs to be the expert for the technologies and in-depth skills need to be developed for the digital applications to be successful (Howell, 2012). As a students’ digital world grows so does the responsibilities for the teacher and parents involved. If all areas of the student’s life are incorporated in the digital world students own digital world will become more rich and full of educational advantages (Dunn, 2012) as support is always available.

Access to these technologies and hence the digital world is also important, and schools are having to evolve to incorporate these needs (Vaidyanathan, 2012). A student’s experiences must be pleasant and engaging when using technology in the education circle; this will encourage further use and not hinder a student’s progress when these skills are expected later in life. The digital world is growing, and its applications are becoming more essential for success in the world (Howell, 2012), teachers have a responsibility to expose student’s to as much as possible and keep up with new technologies to ensure no student is left behind.

 

References

Dunn, Z. (2012). Cause we’re Living in a (Digital) World… SIC. Madonna. Retrieved From: http://www.haleadvisors.com/cause-were-living-in-a-digital-world-sic-madonna/

Gallo, L. (2013). Living in the digital world. University of Iowa. Retrieved From: https://now.uiowa.edu/2013/06/living-digital-world

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity, Textbook, Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Vaidyanathan, S. (2012). Save or Save as: Teaching Kids Where Their Work Lives in Their Computer. Retrieved From: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/25250/save-or-save-as-should-third-graders-know-how-computers-work

 

Participation and Digital Divide

With the growth of the digital world being so rapid, a considerable portion of society was left behind (Howell, 2012) and are now not getting the benefits we take for granted every day. Our digital world is unequal as some people do not have access to the digital world and for many of these people in their situations they can be helped into the new digital world and this gap must be closed. It the people’s responsibility with the access to do so.

Economic status is a big factor for people having access to the digital world. People in low income families tend to have less access to the internet both at school and at home (Howell, 2012). Schools have a responsibility to recondense this gap and provide appropriate support alongside the government to bridge the gap ensuring fair access and therefore opportunities for all regardless of income. Other factors that affect the digital divide are employment, age (the elderly did not grow up with the technology, so they are less likely to adapt to using it), being indigenous (plays a roll), living with a disability, living in rural areas where access to technology is in of itself a challenge, and education background (Barr, 2014). University students on average have more access to the digital world and therefore the digital divide is less then people who have only completed basic schooling in Australia (Barr, 2014). This is because in schools today technology has the misconception of not being necessary where in university and further studies, technology is essential to completing any course. This ideology about schools and technology needs to be changed and the digital diving prevalent within schools must be closed for successful future.

It is obvious that the digital divide needs to be closed but doing this is no easy task as it talks money from places that won’t give money or from people who don’t have it (Pontin, 2016). Teachers are responsible for incorporating technology within their education system and teaching skills students will be using for the rest of their life. We must be teaching these skills in a targeted manner through repetition and invoking students to self-discover the vastness and immense ability the internet has too help education in a safe environment. Parents then have the responsibility to carry over what the school is teaching and cater for their child’s needs technology wise as best they can, and communities can get together if groups if struggling and together provide the tools necessary for success. Schools must be assessing what they students have available to them compared to what they should be using in an ideal world and ensure all students are given the same opportunities to participate in the digital world. These actions will help to close the gap seen in today’s classrooms in Australia moving forward together.

References

Barr, P. (2014). The digital divide is narrowing but more needs to be done. Retrieved From: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-more-needs-to-be-done

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity, Textbook, Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Pontin, J. (2016). Closing the Digital Divide Isn’t Easy- But We Have to Try. Retrieved From: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603061/closing-the-digital-divide-isnt-easy-but-we-have-to-try/

Digital Fluency

https://www.powtoon.com/embed/e4pWjvRRy4Y/

Please click link above to watch my presentation on Digital Fluency

Script

Welcome to the digital world, to succeed on the internet you must be able to speak its language and to get anything out of the technology, you’ll have to know how to use them effectively. When a person can do this, they are said to be digitally fluent (Howell, 2012). Just like when visiting another country that speaks a different language you must learn parts of their language to get around; the same can be said with the internet. There are many unique words and phrases often taken for granted by digitally fluent people that make it hard for new users to use this technology. Age is a common example of this, people that have not grown up in the new digital age are not familiar with terms associated with computers and digital technology, therefore making the learning experience longer and at times frustrating.

For a person to be digitally fluent they have a mastery of the digital language, it is different to just being digitally literate (Manus, 2013). Being digitally fluent means, you can create, explore efficiently online and problem solve when placed in situations unfamiliar to previous times. Teachers are needed to be digitally fluent as they are the ones facilitating and growing others digital fluency and for them to that they are expected to overcome a vast amount of problems and questions presented by their students.

There are three stages of digitally fluency (Spencer, 2015) and it should be everyone’s goal to reach the third stage as this is where the effectiveness of the internet and technology is unlocked. Stage 1 is foundation knowledge, this is a surface level understanding of the digital world; basic browsing, communicating, and use of the technologies takes place here. Stage 2 is called Conceptual Understanding, here you can apply your skills more effectively and think what it means to be in the digital world and its applications. Thirdly we have the Procedural Fluency stage, here a student is creating new digital content effectively, at the same time thinking about how they will further their digital adventure considering their affect on other users and the future. These three stages are also referred to as cognition, application and analysis/ evaluation respectively and we can see that reflected in their meanings.

To be successful digital technology users we all need to be digitally fluent, and together that target is easier to achieve. The use of digital technologies is a skill and like with any skill having more knowledgeable others help vastly speeds up the learning process and enjoyment of the technology. Teachers can be this person and at the same time the more digitally fluent you become the better you will be able to pick up new skills as the internet is the best resource for learning about the internet.

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity, Textbook, Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Manus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian. Retrieved From: https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital

Spencer, K. (2015). What is Digital Fluency. Retrieved From: http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html

Final Reflection

The digital world is ever growing, and it is an important topic/ tool, us as teachers need to be teaching students and incorporating it where ever necessary because the more exposure they have to technologies and applications the better equipped they will be for the world in the future.

Discussing the digital divide emphasised the importance of school facilitating student’s digital needs as for some of them this is their only exposure to that, so teacher must ensure any exposure is rich, meaning most schools would need to increase their programs that incorporate technology making it more user friendly and invite teachers to use it more day to day with any lesson type.

Digital fluency is a necessity for teachers in a modern classroom and should be a requisite for teaching as seen in research students need to be developing these skills and are unable to do so with a teacher who is not digitally proficient or outright refuses to use technology in aspects of teaching and learning.

When creating the blog, I learnt what makes an effective blog is much the same as advertising, you need an informative title, pleasing background and catchy photos, without these aspects your blog will be over looked good content gone amiss. PowToon was a big step up for the visual section of the blog, it was an easy to use application that I believe makes for a professional looking video that is informative and pleasing to look at, I would recommend to others and continue using it.

The digital world will forever be an important part of teaching and is something that will forever be changing, and it is all teacher’s responsibility to stay updated, integrate into all lessons and accommodate all students within this world.