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21st Century Learning
Digital Learning is a relatively new concept, brought on by the rapid advancement of tools and software that have become part of our everyday lives at work and at home. It uses technology in all of its various forms to help students (as well as teachers and other learners):
Digital Learning changes the dynamics of today’s classrooms. Students are part of the digital generation. They use cell phones and social networking sites to stay constantly connected. They navigate the internet easily – usually more easily than their parents or other adults. In many cases, students are the teachers when it comes to Digital Learning.
Prairie South is a recognized leader in incorporating technology into the classroom. Teachers and students use a variety of instruments and online applications to enhance learning in and out of the classroom.
ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education. One of its main roles is to provide standards for schools to follow. It offers student, teacher and administrator standards. Prairie South will be using these as a guide for teachers, students and administrators to follow as they continue to embed technology and into the classrooms. ISTE has also been developing a wiki that offers more ideas on what the implementation of these standards look like.
Here are the main ideas included in the student standards released in 2007:
1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
“Properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy”
– The George Lucas Education Foundation
Read/Write Web: Sometimes referred to as Web 2.0, the Read/Write Web refers to changes in the ways the Web is used that emphasize online collaboration, creation and sharing among users. While the first iteration of the Web was typically presented to users to read and view, the Read/Write Web allows for a two-way flow of information, and encourages and allows users to get involved in posting and creating content.
Digital Stories: Digital Stories use computer-based, or new media, tools to tell stories. These stories can contain a mixture of images, text, graphics, recorded narration, video clips and music.
Blog: From the shortened form of Web log, blogs are user-generated, online personal journals. ‘Bloggers’ – blog writers – can post thoughts, ideas, reflections and commentaries, along with links to related information. Typically, blogs also provide a comment section for readers to respond to information presented on the blog.
Wiki: A wiki is a web site that allows visitors to add, remove and otherwise edit and change content, typically without the need for registration. It also permits linking among any number of pages. The ease of interaction and operation makes wikis an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.
Podcast: Podcasts are media files – either audio or video – distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. They are different from most other digital media formats in that once subscribed to, new content is downloaded automatically as soon as it is added. Like so many other digital-age words, podcast is a blending of the terms ‘iPod’ – the original media player for which they were developed – and ‘broadcast’.
Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking allows users to store, classify, share and search links to relevant web sites. Rather than (or in addition to) adding bookmarks on their own computer, users store the links on a social bookmarking site, classifying them through the use of tags.
RSS: RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content to users who have self-subscribed. Rather than having to visit the originating web site to check for updates, RSS allows content to be pushed outward to subscribers as soon as it is posted, making it a useful tool for news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers. RSS stands for Rich Site Summary; alternatively, many use it to mean Really Simple Syndication.
Digital Divide: The Digital Divide describes the gap between those with regular, effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access. The concept includes physical access to the tools, as well as the resources and skills necessary to effectively use such technology.
Folksonomy: A user-generated classification that uses tags to categorize and retrieve web pages, photographs, links and other web content. Used in conjunction with social bookmarking, folksonomies make information increasingly easy to search and navigate over time.
Tags: A relevant keyword or term associated with or assigned by a user to a piece of information (like a picture, article or video clip), that describes the item and enables keyword-based classification and searching.
By Will Richardson
Last Updated: July 21, 2015 at 11:41 am
Prairie South School Division
1075 9th Ave N.W
Moose Jaw, SK S6H 1V7
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