The role of a teacher in teaching digital literacy is no less important than teaching reading or writing. The excerpt I posted as my reading from ITNOW is a short article that states the importance of teaching digital literacy to ALL citizens. They make an interesting point; they list the internet as a basic infrastructure in today’s society. The writers compare the need to the internet to electricity or transportation. Without the ability to access and navigate the internet, you are limiting a person’s capability to communicate, shop or even access information.
This is an interesting idea, there are so many scenarios where people are required to be media literate that it would be hindering to your basic citizenship if you couldn’t access or navigate the internet. I pay all my bills online, I buy groceries online and order my basic needs from automotive parts to clothing. This is all done by choice, I enjoy the convenience. This convenience is possible because I am digitally literate. However, I received an email notice that Sasktel will no longer be sending paper bills out. So that choice has been taken away, which doesn’t effect me much, but consider my grandparents who don’t have an email address. They are slowly becoming unable to function as basic citizens due to their lack of media literacy.
ITNOW states that it is necessary to teach media literacy to ALL citizens. This is an idea that is generally overlooked, I think people focus the need to teach children and talk about what that looks like but we often overlook our aging population when it comes to digital literacy.
I think the education piece on media literacy is important to consider when talking about all demographics. Primary,middle and high school students, undergrad and graduate students, people immigrating to Canada should have access to digital education as well as language. Finally, I think we need to offer classes for digital ed. to people that don’t fall within the different categories of students. Anyone older than 40 and doesn’t work directly with computers would have very little formal digital education.
Is there one formula for teaching everyone about digital literacy? I doubt it… However, I do think that some people (even our older citizens), could benefit from a reminder of these questions from Daniel’s video.
My personal favorite’s 6-9. They challenge the reader to think of the source, the perspective and reliability. These lessons are constant no matter the age of the consumer in question, and one that is sometimes lost to digital citizens both young and old.