October 13, 2014 by ztheb
Digital fluency is the ability to use digital technologies in a confident and knowledgeable manner (Howell, 2012, p. 239).
Digital fluency is an important aspect of teaching and learning, as I discovered this week. Teachers should be digitally fluent so that they can support children as they learn new technologies and programs. It is also useful to understand each programs’ teaching potential.
I feel like students have a right to have access to technology and to gain knowledge in all major digital technologies. As a teacher, I thus need to have a knowledge of old programs, and remain continuously aware of new ones. This means knowing how each works and how they can be utilised in everyday life, education and employment.
I reflected on the types of skills and related programs that I should be digitally fluent in as a teacher. Although there are many more my list included:
- Word processing
- Advanced web-searching skills
- Animation – clay, drawing, programming
- Presentation software
- Imagery – digital camera, photoshop
- Social networking
- Making a video or movie
- Web design
I have experienced using many programs related to what is listed. However, animation and programming is an area of technology that I am not fluent in and, after experiencing and using it this week, I believe it would be very useful in the classroom, and extremely beneficial for children’s learning.
DIGITAL LEARNING – Scratch.
Scratch is one of many animation programming sites available on the internet. It is a free online animation program that allows anyone to program their own interactive stories, games and animations, and then share their creations on an online community. I found myself reluctant to try Animation, mainly because I thought it would be too complicated to understand, let alone to teach; however, after learning how to use this programming site my attitude changed.
I found Scratch could be used in a range of areas in the curriculum, which include, Computer Science, the Arts, Mathematics, Music, Science, Technology, Literacy and Visual Arts. The program has the capacity to encourage young people to think creatively, reason systematically, problem solve and work collaboratively with others (Scratch, n.d.). It’s use is only limited by the imagination, as there are many ways it can fit into the classroom.
For my own interest I created my own game, Help Octo. You can give it a go at: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/28625696/.
Scratch Programming Setup.
It was my first time using Scratch and I struggled to get used to the program. If I were to use it as an educational resource, I would need to know the programming process better, before introducing it to students. This would be achieved by exploring and using the program more.
I found a wide range of sites and videos that helped work out the program step-by-step. I used the links below to help me work out the program’s process.
Blog Discussing the use of Scratch in the classroom:
How to use Scratch
I also found an useful educational resource set up for teachers by Scratch, called ScratchED. It is an online community that provides lesson suggestions and support for teachers and other Scratch users. I would use this resource the most, as it would help me connect this program to lesson plans and the curriculum more specifically.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagoogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Australia, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Progopedia. (2014). Scratch [Image]. Retrieved from http://progopedia.com/language/scratch/
Scratch. (2014). Scratch: About Scratch. Retrieved from http://scratch.mit.edu/about/
Scratch. (2014). Scratch [Image]. Retrieved from http://chrisbetcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/scratch1.jpg