Teaching in a digital World

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More and more educational documents and policies are indicating a move towards educating for for life-long learners. Does this label previous generations as not being life-long learners? Surely learning is ongoing for everyone, in all aspects of life, despite if they were taught by the new curriculum or an older, more traditional curriculum. However is this the case with digital technologies?

Because of the constantly evolving digital world we live in, students need to be exposed to many different types of technology and taught how to use them.  Within schools digital technologies need to be embedded, digital fluency needs to grow and students need to be encouraged to assess and judge new technologies ( Howell, 2012). “Effective learning in schools that is rich in digital technologies will ensure learning longer through life” (Howell, 2012, p.13). Immersing students in technology and encouraging them to become technologically fearless, will allow them to adopt the same principles post school life, continuously learning, developing and engaging in the world around them  (Howell, 2012).

For the generations who were educated prior to the dramatic evolution in technology, they are statistically less likely to be digitally fluent. Research shows that in Australia the elderly and retired are two of the major groups disadvantaged with access to technology and the ability to use technology (Atkinson, Black & Curtis, 2008). Both groups were not educated in a digitally rich world, nor immersed in technology at a young age. This has resulting in a generation who are not life-long learners in the area of digital technology.



Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Atkinson, J., Black, R., Curtis, A. (2008). Exploring a Digital Divide in an Australian Regional City: a case study of Albury. Australian Geographer, 39, 479-493.

PICTURE: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=lifelong+learning,+pictures&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=oVdvU4qjG8PvkQWV0oDoAw&ved=0CCcQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=907#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=lJv0dD7c6-603M%253A%3BEyykGW5G6dYxpM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.mbain.eu%252Fsites%252Fdefault%252Ffiles%252FLifelong%252520Learning.jpg%253F1398341082%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww



In the journey of becoming a teacher, never before have I considered the benefits of gaming in the classroom. The concept of gaming as a form of education initially raised concerns. Is gaming in the classroom really appropriate? How would parents react knowing their child is gaming in class time? How many educators use this method in their teaching practices?

Despite these concerns, study and research have proven gaming has many benefits in the classroom. This weeks video, Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world (TED, 2012), provided an in-depth look into gaming benefits, and how it can change the future. The concepts presented were remarkable. It is amazing to know that through a game an individuals focus, motivation, goals and logic can be altered to benefit their world away from a computer. It seems the line between the virtual world and the real world is disappearing.

In the classroom game based learning has many benefits. Physically gaming promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills (TED, 2012). Neurologically it improved memory, can help children with attention disorders, increases digital fluency, and promotes fast strategic thinking, and problem solving skills (Jones, 2013). Another benefit of game-based learning is that it can be used for all subjects, across the whole curriculum.

This week students worked of creating a Sploder game. This task was very enjoyable and brought out my inner child.




Jones, C. (2013). 6 Basic Benefits of Game-Based Learning. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/video-games-2/6-basic-benefits-of-game-based-learning/

TED (2012, March 17). Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE1DuBesGYM


A great definition of digital fluency is “an evolving aptitude that empowers the individual to effectively and ethically interpret information, discover meaning, design content, construct knowledge, and communicate ideas in a digitally connected world” (Boise State University, 2014). Developing students digital fluency can be achieved by exposing students to an array of digital devices and programs regularly. Students who are actively involved in digital learning are developing their technological skills and expanding on their experiences with different technology (Howell, 2012).

However how does one know how digitally fluent they should be? There is no table indicating how much knowledge and competency grants digital fluency. Nor is there a fluency pyramid, showing a range of devices and programs to become fluent in before progressing to the next level. It seems digital fluency is assessed on an individual basis, and is a matter of using your devices, programs and internet well to achieve the outcomes you desire. This leads me to conclusion that the level of digital fluency an individual needs can only be assessed by the digital fluency the world around them requires.

This week students created a Scratch animation, another step towards digital fluency. This task was challenging, enjoyable and addictive, so much so I created two.

Balls in the Air: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/20435677/

Frog: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/20438280/



Boys State University. (2014). Definition of Digital Fluency. Retrieved from http://at.boisestate.edu/home/definition-of-digital-fluency/

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.


Evaluating Information : The CRAAP Test

Digital information is information that is stored in a digital form. We access digital information daily, many of us rely on it and some could not live without it. This week students explored Pinterest and created a board about digital information. My board represented many different types of digital information including music, blogs, wikis, e-books, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, e-portfolios and many more.


Teaching with digital information is engaging, motivating, adds variety to the learning experience and promotes meaningful learning (Howell, 2012). It  encourages students to communicate and collaborate with others, increases productivity, and empowers students to take ownership of their learning (Howell, 2012). Best of all digital information can be used in all subject areas. Richard de Meij’s YouTube video, Social Media in Education – Teaching Digital Natives (Meij, 2012), shows how digital information and devices are the way of the future to help students learn more effectively and efficiently.

As a teacher it is essential to ensure that the digital information being used in the classroom is reliable and credible. But how is this achieved? The Meriam Library at the Chico campus of California State University developed a very effective method called the CRAAP test (The CRAAP Test, 2012). CRAAP stands for currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy and purpose. Each of these 5 areas will help evaluate the information for credibility.


Reference List:

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Meij, R. (2012, December 4). Social Media in Education – Teaching Digital Natives [Video file].  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fes3jcytQCM

The CRAPP Test. (2012). CSU, Chico – Meriam Library Web site. Retrieved from http://libguides.csuchico.edu/content.php?pid=326243&sid=2669613


Who would have thought the digital divide could be so serious right here in our own back yard. Upon first thinking of the digital divide, 3rd world countries immediately came to mind, not Australia. Doubt flooded in, thinking can it really be that bad.

Further research began to justify the doubt, showing  that while the digital divide has created a great amount of literature and attention, there is still no universal agreement over weather it exists or not (Leigh & Atkinson, 2001). Authors such as Rooksby et al. (2002) and Servon (2002) downplay the existence of a digital divide, while authors such as Curtin (2001) admit it’s reality but argue its scale and degree.

The fact is and research shows  that in Australia, age, location, income and lifestyle contribute greatly towards an  individual’s digital fluency and competency. For example the elderly, low income, retired, disabled and unemployed are all less likely to have an internet connection or use the internet regularly, greatly hindering their digital fluency (Atkinson, Black & Curtis, 2008).

Closing the digital divide in Australia is important, particularly in schools and with work capable individuals, due to the high level of digital expectancy in the Australian community.

The YouTube video, The Digital Divide in Education ( Ligge1, 2012), provides a great in-site into the digital divide in Australia.

This week students created a Wordle and Infographic relating to the Digital Divide. My work is displayed below.

Wordle Infographic

Reference List:

Atkinson, J., Black, R., Curtis, A. (2008). Exploring a Digital Divide in an Australian Regional City: a case study of Albury. Australian Geographer, 39, 479-493.

Leigh, A., & Atkinson, RD. (2001). Clear thinking on the Digital Divide: Policy Report. DC: Progressive Policy Institute.

Ligge1. (2012, February 23). The Digital Divide in Education [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1YLPL0KOWE

Rooksby, E., Weckert, J., & Lucas, R. (2006). The rural digital divide: the rural society. Rural Society, 12, 197-201.

Servon, L.J. (2002). Bridging the digital divide: Technology, Community and Public Policy. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Curtin, J (2001). A digital divide in regional Australia. Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/cib0102/02CIB01


Scammers, Identity theft and Cyber bullying are reality in our digitally rich world. Internet security, awareness and education are vital in fighting the war on internet terrorism. Digital security in schools is extremely important to protect students against online bullying and to stay safe while online. Educating students how to stay smart online should be a whole school approach. (Becta, 2006).

There are many measures that can be taken to increase your digital security, however the reality is that we cannot be guaranteed 100% safety while using digital devices. A point to ponder upon, is wondering whether we  will ever be free of scammers online. It seems our technological geniuses have a divide. To use their  masterminds for good or for bad. As the good work hard developing bigger and better security softwear, the bad are working equally as hard to bring it all crashing down.

As with scammers and identity thieves, it is a game of cat and mouse. A new scam surfaces, the government reacts, the scam is shut down and the next scam arrives, it seems we are always one step behind. Will it ever be possible to be one step in front? Probably not, however it is possible to become a less likely target and reduce the chances on becoming a victim. (staysafeonline, 2014).

As a teacher it will be crucial I educate students about internet safety regularly. REC Films (REC Films, 2007) produced a video, Internet Safety, highlighting how easy it is for children to become victims. This film reinforces the importance of parents and teachers educating children about internet safety.

Safety first social media and securing your kids safety

JennaBear. (2014). Safety First: Social Media and Securing Your Kid’s Safety. Retrieved from http://jennabear.com/safety-first-social-media-and-securing-your-kids-safety/




BECTA. (2006). Safeguarding children in a digital world. Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/behaviour/qsaav/docs/safeguarding-child-digital-world.pdf

REC Films. (2007, June 14). Internet Safety [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZHq4CQekTY

StaySafeOnline. (2014). ID Theft, Fraud & Victims of Cybercrime. Retrieved from  http://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/protect-your-personal-information/id-theft-and-fraud