Educating Little Ones on Digital Literacy

Although I am working on my Inclusive Education certificate, I am still doing my Bachelor of Early Elementary Education. Thus, the age range I hope to teach in the future is Pre-K to Grade 3. For this range, I think teaching digital literacy can vary, thus I decided to focus on Pre-K and Kindergarten as I figured these grades would be learning similar things. 

For these younger grades, I plan on creation different lessons on the 5 C’s of critical consuming that was discussed in John Spencer’s  YouTube video.

This video provides the basics for figuring out if something is fake news, which is important for young children as they have not had much experience analyzing these factors. I would start by providing rich examples as suggested in the Developing Critical Literacies: What We Need to Know in a “Fake News” World, as it can helpful to use real-life examples. I would use these fake and real examples of articles to begin teaching about the contexts of articles. As a class, we would look for the date of the article, where it comes from, how these events have changed since the article was written and if there is new information on the topic. We would then look at credibility. During this time, I would introduce different investigative techniques and websites, as suggested in How do we teach students to identify fake news?. I would introduce, Snopes and Google’s reverse image search as these are websites I wish I had known about earlier.  We would also look through different examples and check for the site’s reputation in journalism, if credible sources were cited, and see if it is actually an ad disguised as a news story. 

Prior to looking at how articles are constructed, I would teach the students about what a bias is and how to identify it as both Developing critical Literacies and How do we teach students to identify fake news? state that these are important pieces to learning about digital literacy. Once students have a decent understanding of biases, we will analyze the construction of the articles to look for loaded words, omissions, and see if there is a distinguishment between facts and opinions. 

For both corroboration and comparing, they will be learning how to read ‘laterally’, as we will work together to look for other credible sources to ensure that other articles make the same claim. We will also be using other websites to compare the stories from different perspectives. Lastly, I would try to instil the idea that we cannot always believe what we see and to always question everything, as it nurtures a critical disposition. 

For Pre-K and Kindergarten students, I think digital literacy can be tied to their English Language curriculum as there is an outcome where they must comprehend and respond to different visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts about identity, community and social responsibility. Some of the indicators include finding information from others, comparing their gathered ideas, sharing their ideas, and asking a variety of questions. For this, students may need to look at online sources, thus they would have to determine whether they are looking at a real source or not. I think this could also be tied to all their classes, as students may have to do research that involves them finding real and credible news sources.

By teaching students the 5 C’s of critical consuming, I would be incorporating having students participate effectively and critically in the networked world. This would be done as students will learn how to tell real news sources from fake sources and how to know if something is an ad or not. By teaching the students to corroborate and compare to other sources, they would be doing the goal of exploring and engaging critically, thoughtfully, and across a variety of texts and tools. By comparing, they are getting new and different information that allows them to see the world in new ways. This would also hit the first part of the goal; consume, curate, and create actively across contexts, as they will be learning how to find reliable sources to consume. They would also be curating as they are evaluating the content they find before they use or share it. We would be hitting the goal of building intentional global and cross-cultural connections and relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively while strengthening independent thought, as we would be working together to analyze articles and websites.  

I would implement the goal to promote culturally sustaining communication and recognize the bias and privilege present in the interactions by teaching students how to recognize biases. We would also learn about oppression and how to recognize patterns of discourse. Students would hit the goal of examining the rights, responsibilities, and ethical implications of the use and creation of information, as they learn to collaborate and compare to other sources. They will do this to consider the information from multiple sources. We will also discuss how students can use the information effectively and appropriately.

3 thoughts on “Educating Little Ones on Digital Literacy

  1. I like how you incorporated the 5 C’s into the younger grade’s curriculum. It is essential to have students understand digital literacy at a young age, as it becomes second nature.

  2. Hello Hailey,
    Your plan to teach digital literacy to Pre-K and Kindergarten students is very well though out and detailed. I like that your incorporated John Spencer’s 5 C’s and real-life examples to identify fake news, this will foster critical thinking. Emphasizing bias recognition will equip young learners with essential skills for navigating today’s digital world.

  3. Hi Hailey! I totally agree with you that teaching digital literacy can differ depending on the age group, so it’s great that you’re focusing on Pre-K and Kindergarten for your future teaching. Thanks for sharing John Spenser’s YouTube video on the 5C’s of critical consuming! Also, introducing kids to, Snopes, and Google’s reverse image search is also a smart approach!

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