Saturday, March 05, 2016

Digital Literacy/Citizenship Skills That Students Need To Have

     I have been doing a lot of work in the areas of digital literacy and citizenship in the past few years through this blog, in my classroom, at conferences I've presented at, and the work that I'm doing for my M.Ed; it is something I am passionately interested in and it seems to infuse its way into the various aspects of my professional life.

     I strongly believe that there is a BIG disconnect between the skills educators have, the skills their students have, the skills that educators assume their students have, and the skills that educators and students actually need. Now this will, of course, be a spectrum as opposed to a finite experience based on the specific educator and specific set of students... but you catch my drift. So, through the various work that I have been doing, I have been mentally creating a list of skills that I think students NEED to have when it comes to digital literacy and citizenship.* This list is not something that is formal and it may appear to jump all over the place but that is how my brain is functioning at the moment so bear with me.

*Just to clarify:
When I refer to digital literacy I am referring to what students understand about the role of technology, how they use technology, and what/how they create using technology.
When I refer to digital citizenship I am referring to a students' rights, responsibilities, behaviours, etc while they use technology.


1 ) Search Engines
- how to effectively use them
- how to word search terms
- shortcuts/tips/tricks
- how/when to change search options
- how to complete reverse searches

2 ) Digital Footprints
- what they are
- how they are created
- who is interested in yours and why
- how they can be maintained to be a positive representation of yourself
- what should you post, share, like, follow
- how to brand your online presence

3 ) Privacy/Security
- how to create secure passwords
- how to distinguish between legitimate and scam offers
- identify a catfish
- how to change security settings on various tech tools

4 ) Copyright
- how to reference various types of media
- how to use auto-referencing tools
- where to find creative commons material
- familiarity with digital copyright laws
- how to protect your own work

5 ) File Sharing
- what options are available
- how to store/share files securely and privately
- when to share files

6 ) Tech Tools
- what options are available to complete _____ (insert task here)
- pros and cons of options
- professional vs informal options

7 ) Netiquette
- when to use formal and casual language
- how to write a formal email
- how to respond to negativity in cyberspace
- cyber-disputes

      This list is incomplete and I know that there are countless more things that should be added or elaborated on. What would you add to this work-in-progress?

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