Sunday, September 16, 2012

Teaching Digital Literacy Skills earlier in education

In his blog, Ray Kelly, the CEO of Certipoint ("the world's leading provider of computer literacy skills training and credentialing program) advocates teaching digital literacy skills in middle school.  I wholeheartedly agree with Kelly, as we are a digital and global society.  As newer and newer technologies shape the way in which we function, I agree that middle school is a good place to start.  However, Kelly lists three major components for teaching these skills:  key applications, computing fundamentals, and practical use of the internet.  While he brings up important points of each, I think his blog is a bit limited.  I'm surprised to see that digital composition isn't one of these skills.  Under key applications, he describes learning about photoshop and MS office...but I feel that these are just the tip of the iceberg.

For example, what about blogging, podcasting and other digital tools that are becoming common?  Should we train students to see what these are and allow them to experiment? Also, with so much social networking (ie. facebook, linkedin, etc.) might it be a great lesson for students to learn what these tools are in context?  Rather than saying "this is facebook" show students how companies use this tool, as so many do.

I also think Kelly needs to mention media literacy education.  Because youth are some of the largest consumers of media, I think it's important to teach them the skills they need to evaluate the ads they are being bombarded with along with the other types of media that are consumed daily.  I suggest Frank Baker's  media literacy clearninghouse as an excellent point of entry because it contains so many links about media literacy...from learning what it is, to learning how to be less passive about media, to educational links.

While Kelly's blog does suggest earlier education regarding digital literacy is important, I feel he could include more than just "computer literacy" which seems to be his main point.

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely. Hope you are well!

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  2. I agree that kids should be introduced to these technologies in an educational environment, especially when you start getting into social medias and other sort of nonprint media, like podcasts etc, because they don't realize just how many people can see what they are doing. Once something is broadcast to the whole world, it can never be taken back. These forms of technology are great for recreation, and for consumerism, but unless they are taught to children they don't reach their potential for the usage of the technology and they don't know how to properly protect their information.

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