What is a ‘Digital World’?

(Dumblittleman.com, 2015)

(Dumblittleman.com, 2015)

Most of the world’s population participates in the use of digital technologies for entertainment and social purposes, and many are expanding the countless purposes technology currently offers us (i.e. educational purposes). With the accessibility of digital technologies and the fact they are becoming so relied upon, it seems safe to say that we are living in a technology-rich era. “The day when you can communicate effectively with your washing machine or boiler using the phone in your pocket is not far away” (The Guardian, 2013). The accessibility of digital technologies does not appeal to everyone, however opens many of us up to a world of easy communication and lifelong learning.

“People around the world are taking their education out of school into homes, libraries, Internet cafes and workplaces, where they can decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn, and how they want to learn” (Lpc.pitt.edu, 2015)

To understand my own digital world I would say I’m not heavily involved, but I do rely on digital technologies day to day for social and educational purposes. As a student and (hopefully) future graduate as an early childhood educator I am aware that using any form of social media consciously and professionally will be of great importance, and as a current University student I should get into the motion of this quickly! A digital world is basically how we would define the world we live in today. It is a world with technologically/digitally-based ideas growing quicker than ever: revolutionising and simplifying education, interaction, everyday kind-of purposes and more. In my opinion it is a world exciting to be a part of, whilst understanding that negative factors (such as cyber bullying and limited access to technologies) exist also. Watch Schmidt & Cohen’s Youtube video (2013) of ‘The New Digital Age’: References

Dumblittleman.com, (2015). http://www.dumblittleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Take-a-Digital-Break.jpg Lpc.pitt.edu, (2015). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology | Learning Sciences and Policy Program, from http://www.lpc.pitt.edu/rethinking-education-age-technology The Guardian, (2013). Accessible technology is entering the mainstream and transforming lives, http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/feb/04/new-technology-transforming-disabled-lives YouTube,. (2015). Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen – The New Digital Age. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39tvjOATrCA

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Digital Identities and Digital Fluency

(I.bnet.com, 2015)

(I.bnet.com, 2015)

Having always been interested in how other individuals perceive my personal digital identity this topic really intrigued me. My research of protecting digital identities, awareness of digital securities and promoting these both in education has been no less than influential in the best way.

“Unlike real-life identity, digital identities can range from a simple username/password combination unrelated to any specific attribute or characteristic of the person to one that relies on sensitive and personally identifiable information from official credentials” (Branch, 2013).

There is a larger access to online/digital resources than ever, so the need to increase awareness of digital identities and securities is becoming increasingly vital.

As a student my digital identity could most definitely be condensed down more. From a strangers perception they could find out information such as how: I live in Australia, I am family orientated, I am in a relationship and who with, and how I am currently studying. Putting these ideas into perspective is fairly scary and does influence me to give less information out. I do not share my Snapchat with anyone I do not personally know or communicate with, and my Instagram is set to private- however I still feel the need to watch what information I am giving the public, just to be safe.

As educators it is expected that your digital identity is professional and (in my opinion) is worth getting into the practice in as a student. Even for those participating in voluntary work could consider keeping a close eye on what their digital identities show and who can access them. It is also important that in your practices you promote the importance of protecting digital identities, depending on the context in which you teach. As the use of digital technologies in education is evolving, it will be interesting to see how often and to what extent educators promote safety (online and in using digital technologies) in the near future.

References

Branch, E. (2013). Protecting and Managing Digital Identities Online – Digital Policy Branch. Ic.gc.ca. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ecic-ceac.nsf/eng/gv00585.html
I.bnet.com, (2015). http://i.bnet.com/blogs/identity-head-render-cyber-stock-xsm.jpeg

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What is ‘Digital Fluency’?

(Flourishlearning.com, 2015)

(Flourishlearning.com, 2015)

Before researching this topic, if I were asked “what is ‘digital fluency’?” I likely would have answered (totally unaware of the actual meaning) that it reflects ones ability to use digital technologies. Being somewhat on the right track, my view of digital fluency was very condensed and researching has broadened my understanding significantly.

An individual’s digital fluency represents not their abilities using digital technologies, but the amount of confidence they show in attempting to use them (Howell, 2012). As we enter a digitally profound age “educationalists are seeing a need to up-skill students in digital technologies during their schooling” (Howell, 2012, p.13). As many educators realize that technology will continue to move forward (Inspired Magazine, 2013) and that their students were born in a digital age, they are rethinking the education system to build digital fluency and promote lifelong learning inside classrooms.

I personally recognize myself as digitally fluent on a comfortable level: if I am instructed to navigate myself around/inside a digital technology I have never used before I will give it a try, but can find myself in need of assistance. I am confident using the digital technologies I am familiar with, but also interested in learning more. As a result of using digital technologies daily I am motivated to explore them more, and excited to involve the use of digital technologies in my future early childhood classrooms.

As digital technologies are engaging and motivating in the classroom (Edutopia, 2015), I believe they have great ability to aid learning inside and outside the educational setting.

“As classrooms are increasingly technology-rich learning environments, and students are engaging in digital technologies outside schooling, it would be fooling to ignore their appeal” (Howell, 2012, p.13).

References

Edutopia, (2015). If Technology Motivates Students, Let’s Use It! http://www.edutopia.org/blog/motivating-students-technology
Flourishlearning.org, (2015). http://www.flourishlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/cropped-cropped-shutterstock_153752699.gif
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Inspired Magazine, (2013). Technology’s impact on society in today’s generations, http://inspiredm.com/technologys-impact-on-society-in-todays-generations/

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