In coming up with a workshop topic, I have decided to speak on the topic of “Building Digital Literacy for 21st-Century Success: How to Prepare Children for a Digital Future”.
In Hong Kong, digital literacy has not yet gone mainstream, especially in the early and primary years. When COVID-19 came upon us and classrooms had to flip online, traditional educators were caught unprepared, having to transform their classrooms online overnight. Many struggled with the transition and tried to use traditional classroom methods for online lessons which affect the quality of lesson delivery. This, in turn, impacts student engagement level and subsequently student’s learning and academic performance.
We also faced a lot of pushback from parents complaining of too much screen time for their children. What parents and perhaps some educators fail to realize is that online education and proficiency with technology will soon no longer be an option but a necessity for the success of 21st-century learners. I am keen to engage both parents and educators to present the case that digital literacy is becoming a necessity and that they should embrace it.
I will be drawing upon a framework developed by Doug Belshaw on the 8 elements of digital literacy. Belshaw’s learning framework takes a holistic approach to digital literacy. He advocates that the cognitive element of knowing how to use technology is but just one of the 8 elements.
My talk is targeted at both parents and educators in Hong Kong. Both parents and educators are key stakeholders in a child’s learning and development. I’d like to advocate digital literacy to educators so they will embrace it and find ways to transform the way they teach. I’d also like to engage parents to drive home the importance of digital literacy so that they would encourage their children to pursue this path and be equipped to nurture their children along the path of digital literacy.
My talk will be presented as an online webinar event organized by Qurio Education, the school I am currently working for. My school runs regular webinar sessions with educational content targeted at parents and educators so this will make a great platform for my talk.
Participants are required to register beforehand to receive a link to watch the webinar. A lead time of 4 weeks will be needed to promote the event and encourage sign-ups. Registered participants who did not make it to the live webinar will be sent a link to view the recording.
The length of my session will very much be determined by the time allotted by the organizer. I will also consider audience attention span and the time of day the webinar will be held, taking into consideration the psychological and emotional state the audience will be in. For instance, if it’s a lunch hour webinar, the audience will likely be preoccupied with a work-state of mind and may have less time to pay attention to the full webinar. If the webinar is held at the end of the day after work and after dinner, the audience will likely feel more relaxed and have more time to pay attention.
The length of my session will very much be determined by the time allotted by the organizer, which is one hour in total for the webinar. Considering audience attention span, I plan to limit the presentation portion of my talk to 30 minutes and leave the remaining 30 minutes for Q&A.
Active and Engaged Learning
Originally, I planned for this presentation to be conducted as a simu-live webinar where the “talk” portion will be pre-recorded and captioned. However, in considering the fact that I’d like to incorporate blended elements into the talk, I might have to reconsider simu-live and go with a live talk instead.
In considering the digital tools and resources for use in my workshop, I have narrowed them down to this list of tools to investigate further.
- Zoom – I plan to host the webinar using Zoom.
- Mentimeter – Mentimeter is a word cloud tool to encourage audience interaction. I plan to pose a question to the audience using Mentimeter and have the audience type in their answers to form a word cloud. It’s a big bonus that Mentimeter is now on the Zoom App Marketplace so it can be embedded directly into Zoom meetings.
- Meetings.fun – A little interactive game tool to make my polls less boring.
- Dot Collector – Founded by investor and entrepreneur Ray Dalio’s company, the Dot Collector app delivers an embedded experience accessible within Zoom Meetings. This app is a real-time feedback and polling tool that allows for micro-feedback to be systematically collected, shared, and saved. I’m thinking of using this new app within Zoom to collect live feedback during my talk.
- Colibri – Colibri converts speech to text in real time and can present live captions next to the Zoom meeting video.
- Thinglink – Digital tool that turns any image or video into an interactive piece of content.
Content Knowledge Needs
ISTE Coaching Standards
The standards that will be covered by my presentation include:
- Standard 3b – Partnering with educators to identify digital learning content that is culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate and aligned to content standards.
- Standard 3d – Personalizing support for educators by planning and modeling the effective use of technology to improve student learning.
My presentation will cover Standards 3b and 3d. I will be presenting a digital literacy framework by Doug Belshaw which covers 8 elements of digital literacy. This aligns with Standard 3b on partnering with educators to identify digital learning content that is culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate, and aligned to content standards.
Throughout my presentation which will be in the form of a webinar, I will also be using technology and digital tools to enhance the presentation. This aligns with Standard 3d on personalizing support for educators by planning and modeling the effective use of technology to improve student learning.
Addressing Common Misconceptions
I have also considered addressing a few common misconceptions about building digital literacy in children as follows:
- Digital literacy is only particularly important if a child is planning to get into a technical field in future.
- Digital literacy should only be instilled once a child is older.
- Digital literacy means learning how to program and code in a specific language.
- Developing digital literacy in children is a job for teachers and trained professionals.
Digital Tools Consideration
Digital classroom management practice is not directly related to my talk topic but I found a tool called Sesh that will help me manage my webinar event better. Sesh allows for the publishing of the agenda to all participants and has an automatic timekeeping tool with audio cues. It also has ready-made ice-breakers and an anonymous voting tool built-in.
To prepare for the webinar, I will need to have a laptop ready with a paid Zoom account that will allow for at least 100 participants or a paid Zoom webinar account. The free account has a time limit which will not work for this event. I will also need to arrange for a colleague to be on standby as a Q&A moderator. This colleague will also need to have a laptop with a Zoom log-in ready. I will also need to contact my IT Administrator to request permission for Zoom Apps to be installed and ensure that add-on tools are not locked at Group level.
I plan to use the Colibri tool during my live talk. This tool can convert speech to text in real-time and can present live captions next to the Zoom meeting video.
I have also decided to feature Thinglink as the feature tool to use to encourage teachers to be creative in their lesson planning. Thinglink lets users turn any image into an interactive graphic. Hotspots can be added to an image or video that allows users to interact with the content. For this portion, I will be doing a demo of how to create a piece of interactive content using Thinglink.
I have created a blended/flipped learning content using Thinglink that can be accessed outside of the webinar presentation.
I have also recorded a captioned screencast tutorial on Thinglink to demonstrate how easy it is to turn a static image into an interactive piece of content.
- Use live captions to instantly convert speech to text for non-native English speakers to follow along easier.
- Describe any images and visual-content that are displayed on-screen to help anyone with vision or cognitive disability.
- Provide instructions on how participants can ask questions and provide feedback – by typing in the chat window and using the Dot Collector tool.
My school, Qurio Education provides after-school enrichment courses, covering the skills to build digital literacy for 21st-century success. I will be offering a quiz to participants and the quiz winner will get to attend a free course at Qurio Education to experience the things covered during the talk.
I plan to ask participants to fill in a survey to provide feedback about the webinar post-event. During the webinar, I will make use of Dot Collector to collect micro-feedback as the talk progresses.