Digital literacy in/out(side) the classroom: fact or fiction?

1. Why teaching digital literacy

Digital literacy is the configuration of individuals or groups whose effective appropriation of digital language is revealed in continuous and meaningful practices related directly or indirectly to reading, writing, and other actions mediated by Information and Communication Technology.

Education is facing new challenges as a result of the Information Revolution, as well as becoming its main target. We are going through a historical moment marked by complex transformations that instill, in turn, new challenges. Nowadays, it is no longer enough just to know how to read and write; the literate individual is required to make decisive use of reading and writing to meet the new social demands. For this, it is extremely important for me as a teacher/future teacher to teach digital literacy to my social sciences students, so that they can understand and handle the tools available on computers and on the internet, as well as how to identify fake news and the consequences when fake news goes viral. To do so, analyze with them some resources and do some Quizzes such as “Can you spot the fake news headlines” and “Break the fake”. The YouTube video below with more than 730K views in 1 year is a good video I can also consider when explaining how to detect fake news.

2. Linking digital literacy with the curriculum

There are different ways by which digital literacy can connect with the curriculum.  You can bet on the use of interactive games (e.g. Spot the Troll and factitious), virtual libraries, and or digital research on a given topic. In this sense, the outcome can be:

  • Interaction and use of technological resources
  • Stimulating learning as a whole
  • Development of more complete skills
  • Acquisition of fundamental skills
  • Preparation for the professions of the future
  • More interesting learning

Of note, the government of Ontario as well ad the government of British Columbia has included digital literacy in their curriculum.

3. How you can incorporate the goals of the NCTE framework to your teaching

To well benefit from the questions associated with continued literacy demands, the NCTE has put in place some goals that you can incorporate to your teaching. If you consider for instance the goal to participate effectively and critically in a networked world, you can help them understand how to fight fake news with critical thinking or how to be discerning fact from fiction in news. Another goal of the NCTE is “to build intentional global and cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems and strengthen independent thought.” I think that for this goal, you can create a twitter group for your class and invite them to build network and pose questions that require critical thinking.

One thought on “Digital literacy in/out(side) the classroom: fact or fiction?

  1. I really enjoyed using some of those interactive games including Spot the Troll and Facticious. They are a great way to get students involved while still having fun. I also noticed that both Ontario and BC have digital literacy in their curriculums, and I am left wondering why Saskatchewan does not.

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