January 28, 2015
Digital Fluency in the Classroom
I hear the term digital fluency tossed around in education technology on a regular basis. Many people think it means kids know a lot of different programs on the computer. As I watched my students work today I was reminded about how it is much more than just knowing how different programs work.
When a person in fluent in a language they can have a conversation with ease. They don’t fumble through the conversation looking for words and mispronouncing them, even if they are saying a sentence they have never said before. Digital fluency is just like that. It means that students are able to use the technological skills and tools they have with ease, even if they have never used them together before.
Last week I grouped my students up and had each group research a small part of the European explorers that made their way to California. The groups researched Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Then wrote their findings all around the room on our whiteboards. When we were finished they shared their findings and answered a bunch of questions from me. I ended the conersation by asking them how we could capture all of their research from the whiteboards. They came up with several good ideas. One student had already written her own notes. As soon as one student suggested we take a picture of it the kids new they had a solution.
Today they were given an assignment to create a page on our class wiki dedicated to their subject. Then they were to add the information from last week before adding any new information that they would research. This is when they really showed their digital fluency. I told them I didn’t want them talking out loud because I was working with another group on a reading comprehension skill. They quickly logged into Edmodo (a virtual learning environment) and used that to talk to one another.
They worked out who would make which page and when they would edit the page. Some students uploaded the picture they took the previous week to Edmodo. Other students just shared iPads that had the images on it. Within one hour of 2o minute rotations they had all the pages and all the information from our textbook uploaded and ready to go.
As I roll out the next part of this project, they will now already have a strong background in the subject matter and a resource they can refer back to. The next part of this project will include several technologies that will have to work together in order to complete the final project. I have no doubt that my students will be able to learn the new technologies, integrate them with technology that they are already familiar with, and fluently create an artifact that will demonstrate their understanding of European explorers.