Activity 3: Finding Help Portfolio Post
Create a post to share your thoughts on your educational technology strengths, the challenges you anticipate facing, and the resources you have identified that will help you (and others) to face those challenges. Share your post on your personal course portfolio.
When I think about my own strengths and challenges when it comes to technology, I found it was easiest to compare them to the digital literacy definition by MediaSmarts. (n.d.). Digital & media literacy fundamentals. MediaSmarts breaks up digital literacy into three main principles: use, understand, and create.
The first principle is “use” which entails “the technical fluency that’s needed to engage with computers and the internet”. Ranging from basic technical know-how (word processors, web browsers, etc) and to more complicated tasks such as using search engines and online databases (MediaSmarts, n.d). I consider this to be my strength. One of my “strategies” that I have used for post-secondary research is to actually use Google Scholar first (because I find it is easier to navigate and find the types of research I am looking for on a specific course and task) and once I have found the piece I am looking for, I enter that into the university library search engine so that I can be guaranteed access (once I am logged in). This eliminates trying to find articles on the Library database which I am not as familiar with.
When I think about my challenges, I think about the two other main principles to digital literacy provided by MediaSmarts: understand and create. This is where there is a level of uncertainty (particularly when it comes to teaching elementary students). “Understand” entails “the set of skills that help us comprehend, contextualize, and critically evaluate digital media so that we can make informed decisions about what we do and encounter online. These are the essential skills that we need to start teaching our kids as soon as they go online.” (MediaSmarts. (n.d.))
If I was teaching an upper-elementary class or above, I think it could be easier to teach the principle of understanding to my students when it comes to digital literacy (if they have a solid foundation of navigating the web and other digital tools). Students are constantly trying to “derail” and head to webpages that haven’t been approved and some do not understand why they cannot use these websites within a school setting when they can at home. As my grade three and fours are not really doing research on the web at this point (unless it is planned well in advance), I do not think I need to discuss getting information from Wikipedia, social media, or other potentially unreliable sources as discussed in the BBC Learning English. (2017, November 10).
Although my students are not at a point where they can evaluate the websites and applications they are using, I would be able to have a discussion on my student’s digital citizenship and how using certain websites and applications can leave a digital footprint. My students are not at the point of “evaluating” the resources they are using to complete a task but it is still important to work towards it.
The final principle, “create” is the “ability to produce content and effectively communicate through a variety of digital media tools” (MediaSmarts. (n.d.)). It is beyond knowing how to use a word processor and includes “being able tEd Tech A – Zo adapt what we produce for various contexts and audiences; to create and communicate using rich media such as images, video and sound…”(MediaSmarts. (n.d.))
As I stated, I believe this will be a challenge for me because I need to try and adapt what I am able to create and do to an appropriate level and context for my elementary students so they can develop their own skills in digital literacy. Currently, my students can use some programs to create content, such as KidPix, Powerpoint, and Word. I think it will be a challenge to get my students to produce content on other tools like Canva, but that is one of my goals for this year!
My “finding help” list of resources includes some expertise from the school district I work at, some of the digital resources offered to all staff, membership in the CUEBC PSA (the conference is very helpful), and attending various Pro-D opportunities (like EDDL 5101 and other conferences). I am attaching a PDF of a list of technology resources I was given during a conference last year! Some of the applications on it we have used for this course (like Padlet).
Go to list of resources and experts:
|1. Ed-tech A to Z reference list
a. From the BCTF Virtual conference 2021
b. Ed Tech A – Z .pdf
c. Curated by Shannon Tong @ Claremont Secondary School in Saanich – Feb 26, 2021
***you can access the PDF by clicking on the link above
2. IT Coordinator for SD59
a. Kenneth McCleary -Ed-tech support for teachers at my school district. Provides support for various ideas and troubleshoots any tech issues.
|3. CUEBC PSA
a. Computer using Educators of BC PSA
Annual conference on technology integration for elementary and secondary teachers
Multiple workshops – New Conference October 2021
|4. SD59 Digital Resources for Educators
b. Digital Resources For Educators | School District 59 (sd59.bc.ca) i. Over 30 educational apps and programs available to SD59 staff and students
Watch BBC Learning English’s (2017) Digital Literacy – Searching for Information Online.