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Digital Literacy in the 21 st Century: Implications for Teaching & Learning. Audrey Byrne ICT Conference 2009. OUTLINE. Introduction Context Methodology Main Results Conclusions & The Way Forward?. 1. INTRODUCTION. Audrey Byrne MSc ICT

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digital literacy in the 21 st century implications for teaching learning

Digital Literacy in the 21st Century: Implications for Teaching & Learning

Audrey Byrne

ICT Conference 2009

outline
OUTLINE
  • Introduction
  • Context
  • Methodology
  • Main Results
  • Conclusions & The Way Forward?
1 introduction
1. INTRODUCTION
  • Audrey Byrne MSc ICT
    • Recently completed a study on the digital literacy levels of Irish teenagers (15-17 yrs old)
2 context
2. CONTEXT
  • Despite widespread consensus about the need for digital literacy among students, there is little information available to tell us the dimensions of the need or what might be done to address it.
  • “The need for “digital literacy” is fast becoming a growing concern among educators and policy-makers in many countries. To date, however, most discussions of digital literacy have been confined to a fairly functional approach; the emphasis is on mastering basic skills in using technology, with some limited attention to evaluating the reliability or credibility of online sources” (Buckingham, D. 2008 p17)
digital literacy goals
Digital Literacy Goals
  • “Digital Literacy is a fundamental learning objective for all”OECD (2001), Schooling for Tomorrow, Learning to Change: ICT in Schools. P 15
  • “EU member states have made visible progress in connecting schools to the Internet and in developing the ICT skills of teachers. However, more progress needs to be made regarding digital literacy”(NCCA, 2004)
how are students using technology inside the classroom
How are students using technology inside the classroom?

Research found students predominately use the following applications:

  • MS Word
  • Internet (For school projects)
how are students using technology outside the classroom
How are students using technology: Outside the classroom?

In a more social setting, research found that students use the following applications:

    • Social Networks (e.g. Bebo, My Space, Face Book)
    • Creating Flashbox for social networking homepage
    • Internet (looking up favourite sites/ Online gaming)
    • You Tube (uploading / downloading videos)
    • MSN (Instant Messaging)
    • i tunes
    • Limewire
    • Windows Movie Maker
    • Photo Shop
    • Uploading/Downloading (Music, Photos Video) on phone/MP3
    • E mail
    • Audacity
    • E Bay
  • Windows Media Player
this dichotomy in personal and school use raised the following questions
This dichotomy in personal and school use raised the following questions...
  • How digitally literate are the students? (not just in a school based environment, but in their lives)
  • How do they acquire these skills/abilities?
  • What do they use technology for?
  • What are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21st century?
defining digital literacy
Defining Digital Literacy...

In 2004, Eshet-Alkalai published a 5-skill holistic conceptual model for digital literacy, Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2004). Digital literacy: A conceptual framework for survival skills in the digital era.

This framework comprises five types of literacy skills:

  • (a) photo-visual literacy;
  • (b) reproduction literacy;
  • (c) information literacy;
  • (d) branching literacy;
  • (e) socio-emotional literacy.
photo visual literacy
Photo Visual Literacy

This unique form of digital literacy helps users to intuitively and freely “read” and understand instructions and messages that are displayed in a visual-graphical form.Examples:

  • deciphering of graphic user interfaces (e.g. Screen icons, mobile phone menus)
  • playing modern computer games, in which most of the instructions are provided by means of graphical representation by symbols and icons
reproduction literacy
Reproduction Literacy.

The ability to take an existing piece of text, graphic, music or other media, and to create something “new” from it.

Examples:

  • Editing Photos
  • Re mixing music
  • Editing text to create a new piece of work“Digital reproduction literacy is defined as the ability to create new meanings or new interpretations by combining pre-existing, independent shreds of information in any form of media – text, graphic, or sound.” (Gilster, P. 1997)
information literacy
Information Literacy.
  • The ability of information consumers to make educated, smart, information assessments.

Examples:

  • To assess validity of website
  • The ability to cross reference information“Information literacy acts as a filter: it identifies false, irrelevant, or biased information, and avoids its penetration into the learner’s cognition. Information-literate consumers are critical thinkers – people who always question information, and never take it for granted” (Mardis, 2002).
branching literacy
Branching Literacy
  • Mainly associated with surfing the internet.
  • Students with this skill seldom get “lost” in cyber space and have the ability to move away from linear thinking into rich-associative lateral thinking.

“Branching-literate scholars are characterized by good multidimensional spatial orientation - the ability to remain oriented and avoid getting lost in hyperspace while navigating through complex knowledge domains, despite the intricate navigation paths they may take” (Daniels et al. 2002).

socio emotional literacy
Socio-Emotional Literacy.
  • These skills include the ability not only to share formal knowledge, but also to share emotions by means of digital communication, to identify pretentious people in chat rooms, and to avoid Internet traps, such as hoaxes and malicious Internet viruses.

“the highest-level and most complex one. It requires users to be highly critical and analytical, very mature, and have a good command of information, branching, and photo-visual literacy skills.” (Eshet-Alkalai , 2004)

3 methodology
3. METHODOLOGY
  • Research Project: 50 students aged between 15-17 years old
  • Qualitative instruments
  • Focus group interviews with students
  • Quantitative instruments
  • Student Questionnaires (online and offline)
4 main results
4. MAIN RESULTS

Photo-Visual Literacy

  • 92% of students stated that they preferred to use instructions that contained a combination of pictures and text, while only 8 % stated that they would read instructions which were entirely text based.
  • Students tend to have a negative response to instructions that are solely text based.
4 main results17
4. MAIN RESULTS

Photo-Visual Literacy...cont’d

  • 86% of students had an MSN account and regularly engaged in “Instant Messaging”.
  • 88% of the students stated that they would use and understand visual graphics, (icons and emoticons) in their conversations online with others.
4 main results18
4. MAIN RESULTS

Reproduction Literacy

  • 100% of students had uploaded video, photo or music onto their computer.
  • 82% stated they had edited media in some way, e.g.
  • Edit video (add music, titles, photos etc)
  • Create playlist for MP3 etc
  • Edit Photos (crop, remove red eye, add text etc)
  • Create new media e.g. flashbox etc
4 main results19
4. MAIN RESULTS

Information Literacy

  • 100% of the participants had used the internet to search for information
  • Students were aware of the concept of quotation marks and of the Boolean search rules “AND” or “OR”.
  • 78% of students said they would not look further than the first 3 pages of results.
  • 98% of students were very aware of the fact that not all information contained on a website may be true.
  • 86% said they would cross reference information found with other websites, however on no occasion did they state they would use a book or ask a teacher when checking validity of information.
4 main results20
4. MAIN RESULTS

Branching Literacy

  • 94% of students were familiar with the concepts of “links” on a webpage and have used them.
  • Multi tasking: 90% of students used multiple tabs or maximized / minimized webpage’s as they needed
  • Only 16% of students stated that they “sometimes” lost track of where they were in hyperspace.
4 main results21
4. MAIN RESULTS

Socio Emotional Literacy

  • 100% of the participants had used an online chat facility.
  • 56% of students admitted to having an online conversation with someone they didn’t know, (this consisted of 60% of males and 40% of females).
  • Many students found it difficult to differentiate between different forms of Social Networking sites.

e.g. 42% “never give out personal information online”

100% stated they had name, age etc on “bebo” page

4 main results22
4. MAIN RESULTS

Socio Emotional Literacy..cont’d

  • Students were aware of malicious websites, viruses and Trojans contained on them, e.g. Limewire, bearshare etc
  • Students aware of malicious emails and phishing
main results
Main Results

The students possess the following seven characteristics;

  • Ability to read visual images: they are intuitive visual communicators
  • Visual-spatial skills: they can integrate the virtual and physical.
  • Inductive discovery: they learn better through discovery than by being told.
main results24
Main Results
  • Multi-Tasking: they are able to shift their attention rapidly from one task to another, and may choose not to pay attention to things that don\'t interest them.
  • Prolific communicators: They work well and groups and actively engage in peer to peer learning.
  • Fast response time: they are able to respond quickly and expect rapid responses in return.
  • High expectations for learning: They want to use ICT in the classroom but not all day everyday.
main results25
Main Results
  • Based on the results from the research, it is clear that students do have “digital literacy” skills. Although the depth or level of these skills varied between students.
how did the students acquire these skills
How did the students acquire these skills?
  • They teach themselves how to use technology – or learn it from peers.
  • Students in the study preferred to “learn by doing”
  • When confronted by a piece of technology students adopted a “click and see” approach
  • No fear of using technology

“Yeah it’s the same when they’re [older people] on a computer as well, they’re all like “Oh I better not press that button cos I might break something” like they just don’t seem to get the idea that you can’t really break anything by just pressing buttons ya know like just click on stuff and see what happens.”

how did the students acquire these skills27
How did the students acquire these skills?

Mod: Ok, so what would be the worst way that someone could teach you to do something?

A: Just telling you, like not showing you, just saying like this is how to do whatever on a computer and then you get on the computer and your like “what did she just say?” like. I just prefer to be on the computer myself and like just learn as I’m doing it like

S: Yeah, and I don’t like when they do it for you without showing you, they like say “oh I’ll do it” without showing you what they’re actually doing cos then when they go, you don’t know what they did.

  • [Audio Transcript 2: Lines 165 – 172]
what are students using technology for
What are students using technology for?

Two major themes emerged from the research. The students use technology for

  • Communication
  • Entertainment
communication
Communication

Prolific communicators, the students gravitate toward activities that promote and reinforce social interaction—whether Instant Messaging friends, teaming up in an Internet game, blogging, texting, using social networking sites (bebo, face book etc) or forwarding joke e-mails

“While teenagers are driven by a range of motives in their technology use, a major factor in the rapid growth of online activity is simply the desire to connect with others.” (Van \'t Hooft, 2007)

entertainment
Entertainment

Examples:

    • Social Networks (e.g. Bebo, My Space, Face Book)
    • Creating Flashbox for social networking homepage
    • Internet (looking up favourite sites/ Online gaming)
    • You Tube (uploading / downloading videos)
    • MSN (Instant Messaging)
    • i tunes
    • Limewire
    • Windows Movie Maker
    • Photo Shop
    • Uploading/Downloading (Music, Photos Video) on phone/MP3
    • E mail
    • Audacity
    • E Bay
  • Windows Media Player
what are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21 st century
What are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21st century?
  • Student expectations regarding technology use in the classroom are closely linked to teacher knowledge and skill.
  • Students do not want to be completely immersed in the use of technology all day everyday in the classroom. They would prefer a more balanced approach. (50-50)
what are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21 st century32
What are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21st century?
  • To effectively capitalize on students digital literacy skills, a paradigm shift is required.
  • Instead of teaching about ICT, educators need to embrace the concepts of teaching with and through ICT.
what are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21 st century33
What are the implications for teaching and learning in the 21st century?

For the education system to successfully incorporate ICT into the curriculum the following recommendations are proposed;

  • A review of the content, rationale and mode of training for teachers;
  • A review of how funds are located nationally and regionally (equipment/computers, maintenance, support encouragement to use ICT);
  • A major review of how learning and teaching can utilise the skills of the students.
recomendations
Recomendations

A review of the content, rationale and mode of training for teachers:

  • “If they [teachers] lack confidence in ICT, they will not use ICT and pupils will miss out.”The Impact of Schools IT2000 (2001) p.13
  • The current cohort of students wants to learn using technology and they expect teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.

Mod: But what if some teachers don’t know how to use technology?

SN: Well, teachers should be trained how to use them.

S: Yeah they should be

[Audio Transcript 3: Lines 476 – 479]

recommendations
Recommendations
  • International recognition that the professional development of teachers is the primary factor in achieving ICT integration. (IT2000)
  • Greater levels of collaboration among teachers in schools, allowing the uninitiated to learn from the early adopters of ICT in teaching.
  • Students should be involved in the process, to mentor teachers (Role Reversal)
recommendations36
Recommendations

A review of how funds are located nationally and regionally

  • 49% of school principals in Ireland believe that instruction is hindered by a shortage of ICT resources. (PISA 2006 p99)
  • The 2005 census report published by the NCTE shows that over half of computer facilities in schools are now unusable while one fifth of computers are over six years old.
recommendations37
Recommendations
  • The Department of Education and Science (DES) must provide adequate, additional and separate funding to schools for the maintenance, repair and renewal of school ICT equipment on an annual basis.
  • ICT co-ordinating teachers be employed in schools to help colleagues integrate information technology successfully into their teaching methodologies.
recommendations38
Recommendations

A major review of how learning and teaching can utilise the skills of the students.

  • The present generation of students are effectively being asked to “power down” at the school gates. Students should be encouraged to bring their knowledge and skills using digital technologies into the classroom
  • Why prohibit the use of MP3’s, Mobile Phones etc in the classroom? Perhaps instead of banning these items students should be encouraged to use them constructively, effectively and responsibly in the classroom.
slide39

Mobile/handheld devices are used in the following areas to support teaching/learning:

  • Students have instant access to a variety of applications
  • Students record their own works e.g. oral examination, oral report, presentation, group discussion, etc. for tutor evaluation, peer evaluation, and self-evaluation.
  • Students listen to authentic audio materials e.g. music, speech, interview, vocabulary, audio book, poem, etc.
  • Students access multimedia materials e.g. movie, painting, photograph, documentary, visual glossary, etc.
  • Students refer to preloaded information in a field trip or field study.
  • Students produce their multimedia presentation, assignment, and project.
  • (Beyond Distance Research Alliance, 2006)
slide40

The DES has made some progress using mobile devices in education.

  • In 2007 a pilot program known as the Fon Project: The Teaching of
  • Gaeilge at Post Primary began.
  • The program involved the use of mobile technology to help students learn Gaeilge .
  • The DES is to be commended on this innovative vision involving Irish language education and encouraged to expand project nationwide.
moving forward
Moving Forward
  • “The existing education system in Ireland has served us well for a long time, and Ireland can be justly proud of our international reputation as a well-educated people. But if we are to make a successful transition to a knowledge economy, we must surely transform our schools as well.” (Ahern, D. Minister for Trade, Enterprise & Employment, 2008)
moving forward42
Moving Forward
  • "Ireland\'s continuing development as an advanced knowledge society will rely on the skills of our young people.  The development of strong ICT literacy in all of our children will be an essential life skill for them as they look to participate in the opportunities of the global knowledge society.   It is imperative that our schools provide opportunities for all of our children to develop to their full potential in that regard".   (Hannifin, M. Minster for Science and Education, 2007)
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