My Take on Digital Literacy
Digital literacy, to me, is a set of technological skills where mastery and/or operational proficiency is achieved and the individual is conscious and critical of how the digital tool is used, the context of where the tool came from, and is creative in how it can be applied to problem-solve and generate knowledge in a socially conscious way.
I’ve used my iPhone as a key tool to capture student learning and execute many of my lessons. For the majority of my work I’ve been one on one, working with students with special needs. Using the video and camera option has come in handy when trying to capture, develop and teach pro-social skills for students on the ASD spectrum. Using the DVD program “Model Me Kids”, “Social Thinking” concepts, and my iPhone, I worked with small groups of students to make personalized videos of specific social skills.
Using the iPhone as a teaching tool where I was recording student work was including a form of digital literacy into my lessons. The act of documenting student learning was very much a “technical” approach to digital literacy, whereas “the inquiry, analysis and critique” (Pangrazio, 169) that we did to look at the behaviours, thoughts and feelings within the social context of expected and unexpected behaviours and pro-social behaviour allow my activities to fall into the “techno-social system” of digital literacy. If I were to recreate these lessons now, I would certainly be more aware and thoughtful about including work around social media safety and potential abuse of the specific technology to try and move more towards a “reconceptualized critical digital literacy” and include my students in a higher level analysis of the tool.