Week 6 – Digital Fluency

We explored digital fluency this week, and the skills needed to participate in the digital world.  What does digital fluency mean? What skills do I and my students need to become confident users of digital technologies?

scratch

Scratch (Colville, 2014)

Despite considering myself to be digitally fluent, I found creating a Scratch animation challenging. The code writing was a source of frustration. Perseverance resulted in a “light bulb” moment that enabled me to see the potential of integrating Scratch in the classroom.

Scratch could be easily used by students who have already had exposure to gaming through simpler programs such as Sploder. The intricacies of Scratch provide a rich learning experience for students to become confident users of digital technologies.  Students can engage in critical thinking and use problem solving skills to create games. They could work in groups, using and improving their collaborative and communication skills, to develop story lines for their games. Integrating programs such as Scratch in the classroom enables students to be creative whilst developing the critical thinking skills required for life outside the classroom.

I am loving discovering new elements of the digital world and working out how they can be used in the classroom!

 Further information on Digital Fluency can be found @
ACER and The Guardian

Week 4 – Participation & the Digital Divide – who misses out?

My, what a weekly task!  Creating an infographic depicting the digital divide was a steep learning curve for me.  I found Wordle easy and enjoyable to use but the actual design of the infographic proved challenging.  An infographic, by its very nature, is a visual representation of information, and should not be loaded down with a lot of text.  This aspect of the infographic proved to be my downfall repeatedly during the creation process.  It took many frustrating hours before I was satisfied that I had created an infographic and not a brochure.

infographic

Infographic (Colville, 2014)                                   Click to view full Infographic

The infographics posted by my peers were of a high standard.  The majority focused on the generic definition of the digital divide, being the gap between what can be afforded or not in relation to digital technologies.  A few including mine focused on specific areas of the divide such as Older Australians and Indigenous communities.  Whilst most used graphs and icons effectively, a few tended to be brochure-like with an abundance of text.

Although I found the creation of an infographic initially challenging, I believe using Wordles and creating infographics would be an entertaining and creative method for students to create striking visuals using the text they are learning.

Further information on the Digital Divide can be found @
International Business Times and Newsweek

Reference

Australian Government (Department of Health and Ageing). (2011). Older Australians and the internet: Bridging the digital divide. Retrieved from http://www.productiveageing.com.au/OlderAustralians