My 4 year old son struggles with bathroom activities but his reading skills are exceptional! (What can I say, I’m a proud dada.) We’ve committed to reading with my son daily, but we also have also relied on the iPad to supplement our efforts. To that end, we attribute his success in reading in part to the Teach a Monster to Read app. Yes, it is acceptable for a 4 year old to play and learn on the iPad in our house. Sometimes it’s with a parent and sometime alone. It is important to me that he learn how to use digital tools but more importantly, how to manage their use. This is why he’ll pick up his Pokemon books rather than the iPad.
Using both traditional and new reading practices would fall within Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principle: Engagement – Recruiting interest: 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy
@OntarioExtend asks what does Digital Literacy for Teaching mean?
Personally, digital literacy means:
- Connecting and conversing online when face-to-face is not practical, nor available
- Navigating the online environment – finding what you need when you need it
- Making sense of and critically evaluating content
- Maintaining personal safety, privacy
- Managing its use and/or not use
I believe Digital Literacy for Teaching means:
- Using technology to support to support learner activities
- Assessing technology i.e., did students understand how to use the tool, was the tool beneficial?
- Modifying its use i.e., adjust a tool’s use to better align with learning objectives and outcomes
- Incorporating industry technology i.e., familiarizing students with industry relevant tech and how to use it
- Building communities and voices
Because I have invested time over the past few years learning and implementing ed tech into my daily life, I feel confident using technology in the classroom in meaningful ways. What’s key for me is that tech doesn’t get in the way of learning, rather it supports it.
My favourite tools right now:
I generally focus on a few tools per semester or year so that I don’t get overwhelmed, so here is my shortlist:
- Nearpod – student response system
- Flipgrid – video discussion forum
- Google Academy for Ads – self-guided learning and credentialing tool
- Vialogues – video annotation tool (haven’t used it yet, but it in my tool belt should it be useful)