2.3 Your Take on Digital Literacy

In the age of digital literacy, I believe it is important for us as educators to help our students acquire the skills necessary to “create content and effectively communicate using a variety of digital media tools. ” (Hoechsmann, Michael, DeWaard, Helen, 2015, p. 5).  Specifically, I feel having a basic understanding of coding is essential for today’s student.

I began incorporating some coding activities into my classroom a couple of years ago.  I taught an elective called Go Google which encompassed a variety of digital literacy skills such as website design using Google Sites, blogging using Blogger, and creating a variety of content using the GAFE environment.  I finally decided to step into the world of coding when I first heard about the Hour of Code.  The first year I just gave the kids some free time and let them play.  Some of the students were really engaged and moved through the activities with ease and others were completely lost.  The next semester I wanted to go a little deeper so I created the following lesson:

Create Your Own Google Logo

Check out what I made: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/186390420/

Open https://goo.gl/hGhVQk
As a class, we will watch the video.
Choose Starter Project (Color)

The requirements for your Google Logo:
1. You need to Add a Backdrop
2. Put at least 2 costumes on your letters.
3. Use at least 3 motion effects to animate your letters
4. Add at least 1 sound effect.

Make your Google Logo public. On the project page click embed. Go to Share and copy the link and then add the sharing link to this assignment.

This activity went really well since students were familiar with the Google Logo and how it changed through the seasons.  As an educator, it was also in line with Alberta’s Learning and Technology Policy Framework (2013) in that it allowed students to use technology “as a platform for creation and sharing” (p. 4).

When investigating Mozilla’s Web Literacy tool and using it to evaluate my lesson I achieved the following:

Overall, this activity was fun for students, and for some their first foray into the world of code.  It falls under the branch of digital literacy Pangrazio refers to as digital design literacy in that “‘real’ learning takes place when people make and create” (as quoted in Pangrazio, 2016, p. 167).  Hopefully, my students finished this lesson and then continued to make and create with code on their own.

Hoechsmann, Michael, DeWaard, Helen. (2015) Mapping Digital Literacy Policy and Practice in the Canadian Education Landscape : MediaSmarts. Available at http:// mediasmarts.ca/ teacher-resources/ digital-literacy- framework/ mapping-digital-literacy-policy-practice-canadian-education-landscape

Government of Alberta. (2013). Learning and Technology Policy Framework . Retrieved from http:// education.alberta.ca/ media/6581166/framework.pdf

Web Literacy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://learning.mozilla.org/en-US/web-literacy/write/code/

Pangrazio, L. (2016). Reconceptualising critical digital literacy. Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics37(2), 163-174.

6 thoughts on “2.3 Your Take on Digital Literacy

  1. Hi Abbi,

    That looks like a great lesson and enjoyable for the students. Scratch is great versatile program for beginner coders. I hadn’t heard of an hour of code before so thank you for bringing that to my attention. We don’t have a separate session for coding (or spare hour) but in the school I am currently at I ensure that there is a coding element to every project based lesson theme. Not only is the good for the students (obviously) but it ensure the teachers are exploring the possibilities for delivering a range of activities that include educational technology as often as possible.

    Great lesson plan. Thanks


  2. Hi Abbi
    It’s nice to share another online class with you. In our last class you gave me more than a few ideas for projects and ideas that I could use in my own classes. I was curious about the coding in the creating a google logo. Is this a computer class you are teaching? I was wondering how I cold implement something like this in my science class. It is definitely a good start for beginners to get some experience with coding.

  3. Thank you Abbi. The format of your Digital Literacy post was a big help in creating my post.
    Many years back we had a school wide competition to create the school logo based on a provided criteria. Reading through your activity I wonder if they used Hour of Code. I will definitely pass the information to the ICT teachers at school. It will be great to try out the other resources mentioned in the comments.

  4. Hi Abbi,
    I used scratch as my intro to programming. I loved the simplicity to it and the students loved watching their creations being played. If you ever run a virtual classroom. I know Edmodo always runs the hour of code. Another website that I used for more senior level students was https://www.codecademy.com/.

    • Hi Richard, I have also dabbled a bit with Code Academy. I’ve used it myself just to learn more about coding and also suggested it to students who wanted to learn more.

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