Digital Literacy/Citizenship- What road shall we take?

This past week our school division had an awesome professional development day  with George Couros. He touched on the importance of relationships. He stressed how times are changing and relationships can be formed through many outlets. The main focus of the presentation was the use of technology to help form these relationships and the need to advance our learning. I touched on this topic in an earlier blog. Basically we must make a connection in class before we can push the envelope to help build students’ global connections to learning. The underlying theme is all about relationships.

So what does this have to do with Digital Literacy/Citizenship? The Alberta Government recognizes that students have digital lives and benefit from the use of technology.  Schools have the opportunity to help students build the skills they need to become responsible citizens in the global online community. The goverment has released an technical brief on the topic and basically states that school boards should develop a plan for digital literacy/citizenship for their students. Currently, our school division and many others have recognized the importance of teaching this skill set to students. We have provided a number of resources to our staffs to help them help students. Here are a few great resources/links… (A huge thank you to Zac Coupland and Carmen Larsen for sharing these at our PD day!)

http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources 

http://www.netsmartz.org/

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/

http://lenaourl.weebly.com/ 

http://carmenl.weebly.com/

When is this happening? There is no clear direction as to how this is to unfold for students of different ages. Should the school division have a concrete plan as to how we will build digital literacy/citizenship at each grade/age level? Do we need more data of when we should offer certain topics to students?

Why is this important? Students are growing up in this digital age and developing relationships. We have the opportunity to help guide our students as they grow into responsible citizens. As Marc Prensky states, The role of the teacher has changed from the giver of information to the partner and the coach and the guide.”

Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week Oct. 21-25!