What Is Digital Technology?
Before beginning this class, I thought of digital technology to be solely computers, phones & iPads/tablets. This class has opened my eyes to the idea of digital technologies as so much more than that: programmable toys such as the BeeBots, game design, coding, movie making to name a few. I have also learned that ‘digital technology’ is a term used to describe those digital applications, services and resources that are used to find, analyse, create, communicate and use information in a digital context (Education Scotland, 2015). I have also gained an understanding of what it means to be digitally literate: to be competent in how to use digital technologies effectively and to their full potential. This is something I am keen to improve on over the course of this module. I hope to see an improvement in my digital literacy at the end of this trimester.
I have also found learning about who digital technologies affects thoroughly interesting. At first glance it seems that using digital technologies in the classroom only benefits the children, when in fact, it goes much further than that. The demand for teachers to be comfortable using and teaching with digital technologies means that prospective teachers are required to be trained adequately with the required resources etc. This therefore means that these teachers will have this skill to move forward in an ever-developing world. As Marc Prensky (2001) discusses, ‘Digital Natives’ (the children of today, who have been raised in a digital world) find it much easier to adapt to new digital ideas, whereas ‘Digital Immigrants’ (the teachers and parents who have had to learn the digital “language”) have to work harder to be digitally literate. The advance in digital technologies and their use in schools also provides a benefit for parents and carers of the pupils: many schools have a digital platform that forms a communication channel between the home and school environments. Future employers also benefit from digital technologies being such a key part of our education system today, as their future employees are being trained for jobs that will inevitably revolve around digital technologies. Inside the classroom, digital technologies can make a massive impact on specific groups of children as well: Additional Support Needs (ASN) pupils may find using digital technologies supports their learning, children with English as a second language, students who possibly need to be challenged further etc.
The Scottish Government (2016) outlined 4 main objectives that they aim to accomplish over the next few years, regarding digital technologies:
- Develop the skills of our educators – ensuring that trainee teachers receive the proper guidance and resources in order for them to be confident in teaching the digital technologies
- Improve access – make sure every child has access to digital technologies and that every child has equal opportunities when it comes to learning
- Enhance curriculum and assessment delivery – ensure that the curriculum involves the right kinds of skills to make sure our children are competent in digital technologies
- Empower leaders – from council members to the first minister: ensure our decision-makers have the backing to really make positive change
Today’s session also allowed us to spend time navigating Glow and getting used to how it works. I have had limited experience on glow but it was very beneficial to explore what Glow has to offer – as it really is an amazing resource that is at our fingertips! I found it really interesting browsing the hundreds of tiles to choose which ones I wanted on my LaunchPad. I look forward to using these tiles in the future!
Lastly, in this class we discussed what a reflective journal is and why we are about to embark on creating one. We spoke about how it is more reflective than simply a diary, and relies on thoughts, feelings and reflection. By creating a reflective journal, we will be able to log our progress on this module, and at the end, be able to see how far we have come with digital technologies.
Scottish Governement (2016) Enhancing Learning And Teaching Through The Use Of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning And Teaching Strategy For Scotland.
Prensky, Marc (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.