Aspect of Literacy – Digital

One aspect of media literacy I have chosen is that of digital literacy.

Digital Literacy, as described in this article from MediaSmarts.ca, falls under three main principles; use, understand & create. In short, these three principles can each be summarized as: having the technical know-how to navigate the internet and use a computer, to be able to critically analyze and comprehend what is found online and make informed decisions. Finally, to then be able to create content and communicate through an array of tools.

In the present age we are living in, it is extremely important to be literate in every possible aspect. Especially when it comes to media and technology. I see my younger nieces and nephews playing with their tablets and it becomes easy to assume that they are fully aware of how to use technology. However, are they truly literate? Sure, they know how to download apps and play games, but are they knowledgable enough to discern what’s a scholarly article and what is an opinionated blog post? As society advances onwards, it will be necessary to educate children on how to be critical thinkers now only in the real world, but in the digital one as well.

Digital literacy was a major factor in my personal and professional development. When I have free time, I tend to focus on a passion of mine: filmmaking. Telling a story through a visual medium requires being literate in the use of digital mediums, such as word processors for scriptwriting, and editing suites for producing the film itself.

While working at the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK), I was a Communications Specialist, and this required that I create and distribute media content needed to be informative, accurate and engaging. I learned that the credibility of a news source depended heavily on whether its content was legitimate and credible.

As a pre-service teacher, I must take into account that the digital aspect of literacy is going more prevalent as time goes on. For the Use principle addressed in the article, my students would be introduced to the fundamentals of using technology and programs (much like how my current professor has been guiding me through WordPress). Regarding the Understand principle, it is pertinent that I educate and inform my students on how to be critical of the information presented online. Not only that, but the Create principle would require that in order to be fully literate, students will need to be able to take what they’ve learned, and use the tools provided to communicate their ideas and concepts. Again, much like how I’ve learned how to use this site, how I comprehended the article mentioned, and how I’m now creating a digital post that communicates what I’ve learned.

 

 

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Learning Statement Vol.1 – Crafting a Lesson Plan

Competency 8: “To integrate information and communications technologies (ICT) in the preparation and delivery of teaching/learning activities and for instructional management and professional development purposes”

In my Equity & Education class, we were tasked with crafting a Lesson Plan for a future class based on our program major, which in my case is Secondary English. Through a cooperative effort with my peers: Erin, Joe, and Emma, we designed a Grade 11 lesson whose theme included the concept of Equity. Of the 12 Competencies, the one this project focused on most was Competency 8: “To integrate information and communications technologies (ICT) in the preparation and delivery of teaching/learning activities and for instructional management and professional development purposes” (p.97).

The Lesson Plan included a short story that was to be given blindly to the students. A discussion would follow, where students would identify the concept of equity before actually hearing its definition. Next, students would be assigned to create either a short story, video, powerpoint or other creative content so long as it dealt with a problem and solution regarding equity. The goal of all this was to have students identify the difference between treating someone equally and treating someone fairly.

In regards to competencies, the Lesson Plan’s assignment dealt with English Subject Area Competencies 2 & 3. Competency 2 deals with “writing expressive, narrative-based texts” while Competency 3 covers the ability for one to “represent his/her literacy in different media”.

In addition, this was also the first instance where I had the opportunity to work with colleagues of the same field and collaborate on an effective plan for future students. With the use of Google Slides, my peers and I were able to collaborate in real-time while not necessarily being present in the same room. The fact that this technology is accessible made the project much more convenient, especially when considering the schedule of a McGill student.

This task of crafting a Lesson Plan not only informed me on how to design lessons in my future career, but to also communicate and cooperate with my fellow peers. Not only working together, but working effectively. These people may someday become my coworkers in the field when we become in-service teachers.

You may view the lesson plan here.

 

What I Know About These Technical Things

What I know now about media & technology in Education…

PowerPoint presentations come to mind right away; PowerPoint is an excellent companion to an oral presentation. Also, the use of email and sites such as Omnivox (CEGEP) and Minerva are an excellent way to inform students.

Recently, the use of TurningPoint has come into play in one of my McGill classes.

 

What technological knowledge and skills have you acquired? 

  • PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Pages
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Excel (basic)
  • YouTube (uploading)
  • Filmmaking (short films; writing, directing, capturing, editing)
  • Various Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

What I want to know…

I want to know methods that current teachers are employing technology in their classrooms. What is working? What isn’t?