The year 2020 put Digital Literacy at the forefront of education. Teachers and parents had to scramble to shift to 100% online learning. Digital Literacy was important in education, the work force and generally for every internet user during the pandemic.
While this site focuses on the educational side of Digital Literacy, it also provides many resources in an all in one website to help you tap into the exponential amount of resources available via the internet.
A couple of HINTS about using this site:
1. If you scroll down a little you will find our top 20 digital picks of the year. It is so hard to pick just 20, so don’t be afraid to click around and find other resources we highlight throughout the site!
2. There are some headers at the top of the page for you to explore specific current topics in education today. Check them out and find what interests you!
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Digital Literacy and Media Literacy for Today’s Learners
The definition of literacy has evolved in the 21st century. The basic definition of literacy means to be able to read and write. To be successful in today’s digital world, literacy goes far beyond being able to read and write. What it means to be digitally literate has reflected the change in how information is processed, delivered, and received in today’s highly connected world.
The University Library of The University of Illinois defines digital literacy as:
The ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.¹
The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. ²
A person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment… Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments. ³
US Digital Literacy believes in supporting Instructional Technologists in every school to facilitate digital and media literacy instruction for all children and all teachers and staff. School systems should make provisions for a certified Instructional Technologist in every school to truly embrace 21st century education in their schools. All districts need to look forward to what will continue to transform education and what has only been a taste of the evolution of technology in the lives of our children.
While in her blog article “14 things that are obsolete in 21st Century Schools”, Ingvi Hrannar Ómarsson states “The idea of taking a whole class to a computer room with outdated equipment, once a week to practice their typewriting skills and sending them back to the classroom 40 minutes later, is obsolete. Computers or technology should not just be a specific subject, that’s not sufficient anymore but rather it should be an integral part of all the subjects and built into the curriculum.” But be careful in your plans for that old computer lab, it does NOT have to be removed from the building, it simply needs a visionary at your school to help repurpose it. Regenerating a computer lab into a Maker Space, Digital Reading Lab with devices, a STEM lab or other 21st Century space will help teachers understand the need to step out of dated practices.
We believe teachers are life long learners, after all this site was created by a teacher that is always continuing to learn. Digital Learning is only part of a bigger umbrella of Blended Learning. Check out what Catlin Tucker has to say about the pillars of blended learning in your classroom.
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“Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous,
necessary, and invisible.”
~ Chris Lehmann, Principal of Science Leadership Academy
US Digital Literacy is dedicated to providing many resources for learners, teachers, principals, parents, and ALL education stakeholders to become better equipped in today’s digital world. Please check back here often for updates and new information about digital literacy.