What is a Digital World?

Digital world

As the world starts to transform digitally due to technological advancement, it is now inevitable for teachers to introduce technology in classrooms. However, teachers need to grasp the understanding of the digital world before they can pass down the knowledge to their students. Let us explore more about the digital world with the Vokis that I have made!

Voki URL: http://www.voki.com/presenter/playPresentation.php?id=b2b3ebcb3f75065d6212293c8444efd0

References

Goodwin, K. (2016). Raising Your Child in a Digital World. Sydney: Finch Publishing.

Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.  Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Presky, M. (2008). The 21st Century Digital Learner. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

Turner, A. (2015). Digital World [Image]. Retrieved from https://inform.tmforum.org/casestudy/globe-opens-up-a-new-digital-world-to-customers/#prettyPhoto

Participation and Digital Divide

digital-divide_global-1

Understanding Digital Divide

Living in the 21st century where technology is constantly integrated into our daily lives, it is essential for humans to stay in contact with this tool so as to reap the benefits it brings. However, a minority of people face issues in gaining access to technology, due to several reasons, such as affordability. Hence, a digital divide occurs, between people who own technological devices and people who are unable to own one. This digital divide can exist “between socio-economic groups”, or between developed and developing countries (Rouse, 2014). Thus, such divide in the digital world is also experienced by students in their classrooms.

Digital Divide in Australia

In the recent statistics collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 14the-digital-divide
% of Australian households do not have Internet access in their homes (ABS, 2015). Although a significant number of people are detached from technology, teachers are making assumptions that every child in their classrooms is “digitally fluent” (Howell, 2013, p.57), and this is a dangerous one. Students from the lower socio-economic backgrounds are usually unable to own a technological device due to its high cost. As such, they will not be able to acquire the relevant technological skills at home. However, teachers may fail to realise the existence of such scenario, and they assign homework with the presumption that all students “have unrestricted access to the internet” (Ewing, n.d.).

 Strategies to Tackle Digital Divide in Classrooms

Programmes such as the One Laptop Per Child project are implemented to expose children in the developing countries to the technology available for educational purposes. On an individual level, it is necessary for teachers to help students develop their competence in technology through incorporating the use of digital devices in lessons. This can be done by conducting lessons in the computer laboratory, and getting students to access the materials using the computer. Other approaches such as allowing students to access the computer laboratories after their lessons, or exploring the educational applications available on the internet with them, can ensure that all students are engaged in similar learning experiences. Therefore, the digital divide can be narrowed and student can attain the technological skills necessary in future. digital-divide

Additional Resource

The founder of One Laptop Per Child project, Nicholas Negroponte, was invited to give a speech on his project at Ted Talk, where he talks about the process of the birth of his project, and the criticisms faced in initiating the project. Watch the video below to know more about it:

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0

Carter, M. (2014, July 31). World of Digital Divide [Image]. Retrieved from https://meganellencarter.wordpress.com/

Ewing, S. (n.d.). Australia’s digital divide is narrowing, but getting deeper. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/australias-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-getting-deeper-55232

Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.  Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Rouse, M. Digital Divide. Retrieved from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digital-divide

Shin, T. (n.d.). The Digital Divide [Image]. Retrieved from http://famousbloggers.net/digital-divide-infographic.html

Xirruswifi. (2016, June 20). World of connectivity [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.xirrus.com/bridging-digital-divide/

Final Reflection

Final Reflection

The exposure to various online tools that are useful in education managed to change my mindset about introducing technology to toddlers. Before starting this assignment, I was sceptical about the thought of toddlers interacting with technology, since they may not be as “digitally expectant” (Howell, 2013, p.6) as children in their adolescence. However, I realised that my view after researching for the assignment. In accorFamily-with-tablet-Featured.jpgdance with the result obtained by a study from Stirling University that was mentioned by Roxby, I discovered that toddlers are already introduced to technology at home, and would have obtain experience in using technology before entering the classroom (Roxby, 2013). Further emphasis was placed on the benefits of allowing toddlers to engage with technology, where a research from the University of Wisconsin concluded that

“Kids who are interacting with the screen get better much faster, make fewer mistakes and learn faster” (Kirkorian, cited by Roxby, 2013).

After comprehending the reason for toddlers to be exposed to the digital world, I gradually manage to see the significance of familiarising myself with the digital tools that are essential for me in future, as an early childhood teacher.

One important concept learnt through the process of this assignment is the immense impact that technology brings when integrated into the class curriculum. The introduction of auditory and visual tools, like Voki and ViPreschool Daycaredeoscribe, can cater to the different learning styles that children have, saving a significant amount of time set aside by teachers to satisfy similar needs of the children. Furthermore, it alters the accustomed view of a teacher being in front of the classroom and “in control of the classroom” (Tavakoli, 2012). The introduction of technology not only encourages “collaboration” between the teacher and children, but also amongst children themselves. Noting that technology should not replace any methods of teaching completely, and that with the appropriate use of it, both teachers and students can benefit tremendously through their transformation into competent individuals in the technology.

Additional Resource

This picture gives a good explanation about the components of a 21st Century classroom.

21st century classroom

References

Funderstanding.com. (n.d.). Kids and Computers [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.funderstanding.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Kids-and-Computers2.jpg

Guymon, D. (2014). Family with Tablet [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.gettingsmart.com/2014/01/life-beyond-screen-striking-tech-life-balance/

Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.  Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Roxby, P. (2012). Does technology hinder or help toddlers’ learning? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-22219881

Sutton, B.B. (2012). Components of the 21st Century Classroom [Image]. Retrieved from https://thepowerofus.org/2012/12/17/transformational-learnng-ideas/

Tavakoli, K. (2012, December 27). How Technology Encourages Teacher Collaboration Around Individual Students. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.edelements.com/how-technology-encourages-teacher-collaboration-around-individual-students