Digital Literacies in the K-12 Classroom

Students need continual guidance in building digital literacy, and teachers need to reflect continually on how best to provide that guidance-and to refine their own skills. Just as basic literacy-reading and writing-must be a part of teaching and learning in every content area, so must digital literacy. This module offers a sound and thorough grounding in digital literacy as it pertains to the classroom-or of digital literacies, as the title of the module says, for there are many ways of thinking about digital literacy.

7 weeks, 1.5 CEUs

Currently scheduled sections

Instructional goals and learning objectives

  1. The learner will understand what digital literacies are and their importance in classrooms.
    1. The learner will develop a personal definition of digital literacies.
    2. The learner will identify the real-world benefits of digital literacies.
    3. The learner will review and critique resources related to digital literacy in the classroom to discover the benefits of including digital literacies in the classroom.
  2. The learner will create challenging learning experiences to empower and enable teaching and learning using appropriate digital tools, resources, and media.
    1. The learner will recognize the connections between digital literacies and standards, including Common Core, NC Essential Standards, and NC Professional Teaching Standards.
    2. The learner will develop strategies for identifying resources appropriate to specific tasks rather than using technology for its own sake.
  3. The learner will learn and develop strategies for locating, organizing, evaluating, and analyzing information from digital sources.
    1. The learner will understand the challenges of and strategies for using various types of digital collections and search tools and evaluate their appropriateness to the classroom.
    2. The learner will understand the challenges of and strategies for evaluating online sources and information and evaluate their appropriateness to the classroom.
    3. The learner will understand and be able to work with the sources, benefits, and potential pitfalls of socially and collaboratively generated content.
    4. The learner will understand the ways in which reading online differs from reading in print and will explore ways of helping students to become better online readers.
    5. The learner will demonstrate the safe and ethical use of digital resources, including an understanding of intellectual property.
  4. The learner will understand federal, state, and local policy implications related to the implementation of digital literacy skills across all content areas and will develop a process for advocating for the use of digital tools in their classrooms.
    1. The learner will recognize that there are local, state and federal policies, including local Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs), that affect the implementation of digital literacy skills across all content areas.
    2. The learner will understand the implications of these policies for instruction.
    3. The learner will compare current practices with policy implications.
    4. The learner will develop a personal process for advocating for use of digital tools in the classroom.

Alignment to North Carolina standards

Course schedule

  1. Week 1: What Is Digital Literacy, and Why Does It Matter?
    1. Defining Digital Literacy
      Activity: After reviewing some web resources, create your own definition of
      digital literacy.

      Discussion Forum: Digital Literacy Definition

    2. Digital Literacy in the Classroom
      Activity: Watch a video and respond in your journal.
    3. North Carolina Standards PageNot completed: North Carolina Standards
    4. Activity: Explore various web pages and write a brief introduction to the ITES based on the information you find.
      Discussion Forum: ITES Introduction

    5. Supplemental Resources on Teaching the Standards Page
  2. Week 2: Finding Information
    1. Finding and Evaluating Information: An Overview
    2. What’s a Search Engine?
    3. Talking to a Search Engine
      Activity: Try out a series of example searches on the Web,
      using different keywords and operators.
    4. The Business of Search
    5. When Search Engines Try to Help
    6. Search Activity

      Assignment Submit Search Activity
      Discussion Forum: Search Activity

    7. Beyond the Open Web
      Activity: Try your previous search in subject-specific search engines.
    8. In the Classroom: Teaching Search Skills

      Journal: reflect about how you can integrate these concepts into your lessons.

      Discussion Forum: Implications

  3. Week 3: Evaluating Information
    1. Evaluating Information
    2. Evaluating a Website
    3. Validating Content
    4. Website Evaluation Activity

    5. Digital Manipulation
      Activity: Reflect in your journal on your understanding of digital manipulation.
    6. Collective Authorship
      Activity: Adapt a lesson plan to take advantage of crowdsourcing.

      Assignment Submit Crowdsourcing in Your Classroom

    7. Additional Resources for the Classroom
      Discussion Forum: Website Evaluation Discussion Forum
    8. Quiz 1: Digital Literacy
  4. Week 4: Reading in a Digital Environment
    1. Discussion Forum: Before — Reading in a Digital Environment
    2. What is “Reading in a Digital Environment”?
    3. Why is Reading Online Important?
    4. The Online Reading Experience: Reader, Text, and Pitfalls
      Activies: Respond in your journal and compose a brief response to readings.
    5. Discussion Forum: After — Reading in a Digital Environment
    6. Assignment: Pitfalls for Students Article
  5. Week 5: Reading in a Digital Environment — The Research
    1. The Research on Online Reading
    2. Strategies for Building Strong Online Readers
      Activity: Respond to readings and/or podcasts in your journal.
      Discussion Forum: Research and Strategies
    3. Reflecting on Reading
      Activity: Reflect in your journal on how your current teaching practices
      address online reading strategies and prepare students to be effective online readers, then
      develop a resource for your classroom to use what you have learned here (optional activity).

      Discussion Forum:Teaching Online Reading
  6. Week 6: Safety and Ethical Concerns
    1. Activity: What Would You Do?
      Discussion Forum: What Would You Do?
    2. Engaging with 21st-Century Content — Safely and Ethically
      Activity: Share your ideas with other participants.
    3. Copyright or Wrong
      Activity: Take a quiz to assess your understanding of copyright.

      Discussion Forum: Copyright or Wrong

    4. Public Licenses and Creative Commons
      Activity: Take a quiz to assess your understanding of Creative Commons.
    5. Plagiarism
      Activity: Try out an online plagiarism checker; answer some questions
      about your current and future teaching strategies on avoiding plagiarism. Try out an online citation maker.

      Plagiarism Reflection & Citation Activity

    6. Free Web Tools Are Great, But…
    7. Acceptable Use Policies
      Activity: Reflect in your journal and share your observations on AUPs with other participants.
      Assignment Acceptable Use Policies Assignment
  7. Week 7: Culminating Learning Activity
    1. Design or revise a learning activity to teach or incorporate digital literacy.
      Discussion Forum: CLA Forum