Today was the introduction session for my Digital Technologies module. I opted to take this module as I felt as a student teacher there are gaps in my knowledge of how to utilise digital technology in the classroom and well, in general! Marc Prensky (2001) Talks about ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’. I admit that I am in the category of ‘digital immigrant’ and I think it is important to acknowledge this status and identify steps to improve my skillset. Unlike todays young learners, and indeed my own children, who are natives of the digital age I did not grow up immersed in an environment where technology was an integral part of daily life. It’s a language I’m constantly trying to learn and keep up with. I have often thought of myself as reasonably competent with technology however, the self assessment questionnaire I completed has shown me there are many areas I either lack confidence in or have no knowledge/experience of that equipment. This has not put me off, simply consolidated that this is a course I need to be on!
One of the main tasks in todays session was to define what digital technology is. Discussing this and identifying how vast the breadth of the term is was quite surprising to me. Whilst I knew and agreed with everything that was said, it had not really occured to me just how entwined technology has become through all aspects of life today. A succinct definition was identified in the document “Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland” Scottish Government (2016). This document defines digital technology as the term used to describe those digital applications, services and resources which are used to find, analyse, create, communicate, and use information in a
It should be noted this is a comprehensive document that lays out the Scottish Governments plan to ensure the educational provision in Scotland is meeting its requirements to integrate digital technology into learning across the board. It was reassuring to see that there is an acknowledgement teachers and student teachers also need to be given the right skills through continuous training to deliver not only lessons in how learners use specific technology but also how to integrate that technology across the curriculum to make learning relevant to real life. As a student teacher it gives me confidence that there will be continous support and development available to me.
Developing the skills of the educators is just one of the four main areas that the Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy seeks to address. The other areas are: improving access; enhancing curriculum and assessment delivery; empowering leaders of change. (Scottish Government 2016).
I was very interested to read about e-Sgoil, an initiative being run by Com hairle Nan Eilean Siar. This is the use of online distance learning to address the way teaching is delivered to learners who are living in the more remote areas of Scotlands Highlands. There is a main base in Stornaway that connects to all of the other secondary schools in the area. They are utilising technology such as live video streaming, digital tools and also Glow to provide access to a greater variety of subjects previously unavailable to pupils in outlying areas. (Scottish Government, 2016) I felt this was an excellent example of how digital technology embedded in the education system not only enhances the learning experience of the pupils but also the quality of the teaching by making more specialist subjects accessible to all.
in mentioning Glow as a tool used to facilitate e-Sgoil, this online platform is something I had very limited knowledge of prior to commencing this degree. Having two school age children I had heard them talk about using it in school but much more than that I couldn’t have really told you. Spending time exploring this resource has shown me Glow is a multi-faceted platform where I will be able to access great resources to enhance my teaching and as such, the learning experience of my future pupils. It will take me a while longer to feel confident using this system but I really appreciate the potential it has.
All in all, I am keen to progress through this module and gain new skills to help me be a confident user of technology in the classroom.
Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On The Horizon Vol 9(5).
Scottish Government, (2016) Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government (Online) Available at http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/0050 [Accessed: 09/01/18]