This week our topic covered digital fluency and how it is important to develop not only our skills but our student’s skills to exist in a digital world. Digital fluency is the ability to sue digital technologies in a confident manner (Howell, 2012). Research has shown that technology when applied affectively increases student learning, understanding, and achievement all while motivating students to learn; technology encourages collaborative learning and helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Shamir & Korat, 2013). Incorporating word-processing, spread sheets, advanced web searches, animation, game making, podcasting, presentation software, blogging, social networking, movie making and web design in your classroom all helps to build skills and expand a student’s experience with technology. Students learn to create digital content, become technology innovators and in turn digitally fluent with a different range of technologies which build up a repertoire of skills (Howell, 2012) that can be used later in life.
I found the article, ‘Getting young people fluent in digital’ very inspiring; giving young people the right skills to help them gain employment is far better than bombarding them with a bit of everything. I believe too often in schools particularly high school students are taught a lot of information which may or may not find them employment but to give young people the right skills for employment is far more valuable. I have had to learn as I go using technology due to my age we had minimal digital technology at school and it is hard to learn as you go and takes a lot of time. I believe Fluency is on the right track, training young people in the skills that small businesses need (Social enterprise hub, 2014) it makes far more sense to me. It would be great to see more social enterprises doing the same thing, perhaps secondary schools should take this on board and team with small businesses so young people can develop the skills they require to gain employment.
Our task was this week to produce an animation or game using Scratch scratch.mit.edu/. Scratch allows the user to create stories, games and animations which can be shared with others online.
After making my animation I believe Scratch for a teacher has the potential to create some very useful visual learning aids for the classroom. Students could also use Scratch to create digital content; by developing the animation storyline, planning the story on a storyboard and implementing and completing the task. Students would be able express their creativity along with using critical thinking I believe it would be very engaging and motivating to students as the end product would be their own game or story they have produced..
Scratch was fun to use, allows the user to express creativity and develop problem solving skills, however, I found Scratch to be quite time consuming for a beginner. I also found the activity challenging to make my animation do what I wanted it to do; if motion was not placed in the right order, it was difficult to work. I am sure in time, with patience and practice it would be easy to navigate your way through. I can see Scratch as an exciting education tool with loads of potential once mastered.
Click on the image below and you will be directed to my Scratch animation. To use click on the green flag to begin the animation. Press the space bar for the unicorn to change colour.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
Shamir, A. & Korat, O. (2013). TECHNOLOGY AS A SUPPORT FOR LITERACY ACHIEVEMENTS FOR CHILDREN AT RISK. Springer Dordrecht , Heidelberg New York London.
Social enterprise hub,(2014) Getting young people fluent in digital. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 4 October 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital.