Developing digitally literate learners

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Hear a range of perspectives on the challenges and opportunities provided by digital tools, and how best to support students move from being digitally capable to digitally literate.


Elizabeth Jones: Everyone's plugged into this ecosystem of constant interruptions we're in an environment which is all about information flows and knowledge flows.

Justine Driver: We know one thing for certain is it's not
going to change back.

Camilla Brotherton: I really do think it's an art and a science.

Justine Driver: The world around us is changing faster than ever before, especially with the use of digital technologies and so we need to keep abreast of current trends that are happening, and look at them critically and think, How could I use that in our context.

Is that going to benefit our kids and how will it benefit our children.

Elizabeth Jones: Actually grappling with understanding how to find the right stuff, how to critically reflect on it, how to build new knowledge, how to develop a point of view is more challenging.

Jacque Allen: You might have a problem-based learning experience going on or a project based learning situation and the student brings just as much as the teacher does or the librarian does.

It's no longer one person holds all the information, I think that's really exciting. It makes everything so much richer.

Andrew Cowie: Increasingly we're integrating more of that technology, more of that mindset, more of those digital behaviours.

So students can be interacting in a number of different ways, creating a tutorial on Youtube, building a structure in Minecraft for Math class, a variety of different activities, but they're moving between screens, they're moving between technologies, devices more than ever before and it's our job to help guide them in that respect.

But also really capture their enthusiasm and that expertise, so that they move from being digitally capable to digitally literate.

Mike Chatfield: There is certainly the impression that children are very digitally capable, but I see that as a different thing to being digitally literate, where they're aware of what they're doing and a purpose behind it.

Andrew Cowie: So that they're critical of what they're using those devices for and that they're actually optimising their potential for their learning.

Fuatino Leaupepe-Tuala: How often are we actually modelling how to find content, and on a regular basis?

We scaffold our kids for everything that we do, so why aren't we doing it with trying to find information online?

Mike Chatfield: There are things we can do now that we were simply unable to do in the past. And digital technology has made that possible.

Caro Bush: It's not about we give them one to one devices and that's all they do. It's best tool for the job at the right time.

Krispin Lockwood: They are big step for a lot of the teachers but once they grasp it and see what they can do as a tool and how collaborative and how it's a feedback tool as well they really take it on board and try new things with it.

Elizabeth Jones: Over time you're given the skills and the support and the kind of relationship support to see the whole picture and to develop skills and confidence along the way, so that it's not just jumping in to — I know how to use this thing, but actually I'm getting a much richer more supported experience.

Jacque Allen: The classes got together and over a week made collaborative notes in groups. So one group has done women's suffrage and one group has done male integration into New Zealand society and things like that.

And then they've made those study resources and shared them with the whole class, and so that everyone's got these amazing study notes that they can learn from in the exams.

And when we did that with one secondary teacher, history teacher she said their grades jumped up. They jumped up from the previous exam and she truly believed it was because they were engaged with the material and they knew it was going going to be used by someone else.

So the students had to lift their game, because their peers were going to be really critical about the study notes they had made about that topic.

So that to me is where the students are taking charge of that learning, that teacher didn't make four sets of study notes, the class made them.

Amy Chakif: The thing I'm particularly passionate about is actually seeing students be able to be agents of their learning and be able to be able to share that, to be able to curate their own content.

Jacque Allen:It's that sort of thing, that working smarter together as student and teacher. I think that's the exciting thing.

Andrew Cowie: We're actually really trying to access the data bases that have been curated by researchers, by educators, Britannica, Opposing Viewpoints for example. A lot of the databases offered through Epic. It's reminding teachers and educators that there is that side street of excellent resource that can be used, that's not necessarily on the main track.

Camilla Brotherton: They can ask the questions and seek the answers, and they don't just seek them and copy and paste them from a website, they have the ability to critique and consciously curate the information that they are consuming, but also produce
and create, or recreate information.

Elizabeth Jones: For young people what libraries provide I think is a very physical and virtual environment where that dynamic knowledge landscape can be made very visible and I think that's important, because people dive into this tool, or that tool.

And where you can actually get a sense of the whole I think it helps kids to make sense of that very complex world.

Indira Neville: It's about the joy of curiosity, the passion for learning, the world around you, the offering of options, the respecting of opinions.