Equipping Our Students with Digital Literacy

Our everyday lives are imbued with the digital technology. Digital technology revolution would continue to speed up as more people go online and the devices become smarter. “Never before has there been a more powerful influence on human behavior, irrespective of country or culture, than the combined effect of digital technologies” (Eyre, 2017). From flexible and mobile devices, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) to learning management platform, for example, Moodle, technology is now firmly part of the school environment, and widely used in the vocational and professional education and training (VPET) sector to support learning and teaching. When we say that we are preparing our students for higher education and workplace in this fast changing world, how do we equip them with digital literacy (which is required in learning and workplace) in the digital society?

What is Digital Literacy 

Digital literacy is the ability to use a range of digital technology critically and efficiently. Digitally literate people are those who can use technology to manage and locate information, communicate and solve problems. What we meant by developing students' digital literacy is not about teaching them how to use the electronic devices or a specific programme; it is about critical thinking, collaboration and social engagement when dealing with digital technology. The coming sections discuss the aspects that teachers could help build up digital literacy for our students.

Promote Information, Data and Media Literacies  

As we are living in the world with abundant information that is digitally available, it is important to equip students with a range of abilities to navigate and manage the information and materials. While the massive amount of information is available at our fingertips, what is more important is to be able to find, manage and disseminate information with different media for different purposes. Being a teaching professional, it is our responsibility to teach our students to evaluate the online resources. This can be achieved by applying the “3C” of critical consuming. The first C is credibility. Find out if the site has reputation or journalistically integrity, if the author cites credible sources, if it is an advertisement, propaganda or a real story. The second C is construction. Analyse the construction of the article. Are there any bias or loaded words in the content they read? Can the students distinguish between facts and opinions? The last C is compare. Compare the article with different sources to negotiate multiple perspectives and obtain a bigger picture of the story.

Enable Communication and Collaboration 

While digital learning environment offers flexibility and opportunity for collaboration and connectivity to global online resources, teachers could help students use a wide range of digital technology to communicate and collaborate with others in an ethical, appropriate manner. Teachers could choose appropriate EdTech tools, such as Mentimeter, for collaborative learning and make the learning and teaching more flexible by blended learning approach.

Unleash Creativity and Innovative  

Digital technology allows us to present our ideas and thoughts beyond words. We like taking pictures and recording videos to tell a story, to convey a message and to express the feeling. Today's students are active in social media and labelled as tech savvy, why don't we unleash their creativity through digital technology and media? We could encourage them to give presentations, do assignment tasks and researches with the support of digital technology.

Ensure Digital Safety  

Despite the fact that the younger generations are regarded as digital natives, they can be very naive when it comes to online safety. Common online safety issues include cyberbullying, accessing or sharing inappropriate content, and disclosing personal information. A survey conducted by Anti-Pornographic & Violence Media Campaign in 2018 revealed that more than half of the respondents (out of 1,900 Hong Kong secondary school students) made social engagement through social media, while about 16% of the respondents claimed that they had been cyberbullied while using media apps. Therefore, seminars or lessons on topics such as online responsibility, online safety, online bullying, etc. could be provided to students. Meanwhile, more training on how to handle cyberbullying cases, giving support and counseling to those affected could be provided to teachers. It could be very dangerous if students spend too much energy, time and emotion on what is going on the social media, because there could be misinformation, manipulation and propaganda in the social media and the digital world. Accomplishing digital safety and protecting our students from the threats require close partnership among all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem which include caring parents, capable teachers, ethical business practices and support, and national online protection policy. Let's work together to help and protect our new generations.

The above four aspects describe how teachers help students think critically, work and communicate with others, think creatively when they learn with digital technology and being safely online. Digital literacy is not about mastering a technology, but about embedding technology skills into learning and teaching to enhance the learning experience and quality. Like what Bill Gates says, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.”     

References:

Eyre, M. (2017, Feb 14). Leading in a digital world. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2017/02/14/leading-in-a-digital-world/#17e4a1ed5fa9 

Zhang, K. (2018, Dec 17). Cyberbullying and child porn: new survey claims Hong Kong students are being targeted on social media as concern group urges government to act. South China Moring Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2178229/cyberbullying-and-child-porn-new-survey-claims-hong-kong 




為我們的學生裝備數碼素養

我們的日常生活充滿了數碼技術。隨著越來越多的人懂得上網及數碼裝置變得更加智能化,數碼技術革命將繼續加速發展。「不論在國家或文化層面,人類行為從未受到像現在這般強大的數碼技術影響」(Eyre,2017)。從靈活的流動裝置、擴增實境、虛擬實境到網上學習平台,例如Moodle,科技已成為學習環境的一部分,並廣泛應用於職業專才教育中的學與教。當我們說我們正在為學生準備面對這個快速轉變的世界裡的高等教育和職場時,我們如何裝備學生具備在數碼化社會裡學習和工作所需的數碼素養?


什麼是數碼素養 

數碼素養泛指能夠批判性地有效運用數碼技術的能力。具數碼素養的人善於使用科技來管理和查找資料、溝通和解決問題。培養學生的數碼素養,並不等如教授他們如何使用電子設備或設計特定程式;而是在處理數碼技術時所需的批判性思維、協作和社交互動。接下來,我們將討論教師可以如何幫助學生建立數碼素養。 

促進資訊、數據和媒體素養

由於我們生活在充滿著電子資訊的世界,因此讓學生掌握辨識及管理所瀏覽的資訊、資料和素材的能力是非常重要的。雖然我們只需輕輕透過指尖就可以獲得大量資訊,但更重要的是如何運用不同媒體去查找、管理和傳播訊息以達到不同的目的。 

作為教師,我們有責任教導我們的學生評估網上資源。這可以通過應用 「3C精明使用」來實現。第一個C是可信度 (Credibility)。查明該網站是否具有聲譽或新聞誠信。作者引用的資訊來源是否可信?是廣告?宣傳或真實故事?第二個C是建構(Construction)。分析文章的建構。文章內容是否有任何偏見或既定觀點?學生能區分事實和意見嗎?最後一個C是比較(Compare)。比較不同來源的文章,從多角度分析並更全面地了解事情的實況。 

達致溝通和協作

數碼學習環境為全球網上資源的協作和連繫提供了彈性和契機。教師可以幫助學生以符合道德的方式,使用各種數碼技術與他人進行交流和協作。教師可以選擇合適的教育科技工具,例如Mentimeter,進行協作學習,並通過混合式學習方法使教學更加靈活。 

發揮創造力

數碼技術使我們能夠表達非筆墨能形容的想法和意念。我們喜歡以照片和錄像的方法來說故事、傳達訊息及表達感受。今天的學生活躍於社交媒體並被標籤為科技達人,我們何不就通過數碼技術和媒體發揮他們的創造力?我們可以鼓勵他們利用數碼技術作匯報,做功課和進行研究。 

確保網絡安全

儘管年輕一代被視為數碼原生代,但在網絡安全方面,他們可能還很幼稚。常見的網絡安全問題包括網絡欺凌、瀏覽或共享不當的內容以及洩漏個人資料。關注傳媒對青少年影響聯席於2018年進行的一項調查顯示,在1,900名香港中學生當中,超過一半的受訪者通過社交媒體進行社交活動,而約16%的受訪者表示他們曾在使用媒體時被欺負。就著這個情況,教師可以為學生提供有關網絡責任、網絡安全和網絡欺凌等主題的研討會或課堂。同時,教師可以接受更多關於如何處理網絡欺凌案件、如何為受害者提供支援和輔導的培訓。學生如果花太多精神,時間和感情在社交媒體上,可以是非常危險的,因為在社交媒體和網上世界中可能含有誤導、操縱和渲染的訊息。要實現網絡安全並保護我們的學生免受這些威脅,家長、教師、符合數碼道德的商業支援及國家網絡保護政策幾方面,作為數碼生態系統的其中一員,必須緊密合作。就讓我們齊心協助及保護我們的新生代。 

以上四方面描述了教師如何幫助學生批判性思考和與他人協作交流;並在運用數碼技術學習和上網的同時,發揮創造性思考。數碼素養不是掌握科技,而是將科技嵌入學與教中,提高學習體驗和質素。就像比爾蓋茨所言:「科技只是一種工具。要激勵孩子們和推動他們協作努力,教師還是最重要的。」 

參考文獻:

Eyre, M. (2017, Feb 14). Leading in a digital world. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2017/02/14/leading-in-a-digital-world/#17e4a1ed5fa9 

Zhang, K. (2018, Dec 17). Cyberbullying and child porn: new survey claims Hong Kong students are being targeted on social media as concern group urges government to act. South China Moring Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2178229/cyberbullying-and-child-porn-new-survey-claims-hong-kong