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Skilled, LIterate & Fluent in the Digital World

I have been intrigued with the relationship of being skilled, literate and fluent in the Digital World for a while. We are focusing at school to look through the lens of fluency using technology as tools (e.g. using the iPad as the device and apps as the tool to achieve fluency), not as the end. I am wondering if the word “fluency” in the digital world, sparks the same thoughts or activates the background definition in other educators? I have heard others in the edubloggersphere use the word “workflow” instead of “fluency”.

Workflow is defined by Wikipedia as:

The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

The word “workflow” c-o-u-l-d work, but still does not sound right. What about a LEARNflow? The goal in education is for our students to learn, to become life long learners and do do so unconsciously, smoothly and [as] effortlessly [as possible]… I am still mulling over the semantics here… Your input is appreciated…

fluency- workflow?- learnflow?

learnflow
Looking back at my train of thought, I started by looking at the flow between the skills needed to become literate in order to move on to become fluent.

Then I moved along the lines of remembering what it felt like to NOT be fluent in a language. Words like cumbersome, painstaking, tedious, with effort and drudgingly come to mind. What feels so effortless to the fluent, is broken down in so many steps for the beginner… vocabulary words, grammar rules, exceptions, idioms…

language-fluency

Most monolingual people might relate how it feels to TRY to learn another language, but they cannot relate to the feeling of being fluent in that other language. Most people might find a way to understand the analogy though when looking back at learning or teaching someone else how to drive a car. So many steps, from looking around you, to keeping your distance from other cars, observing and “feeling” the speed of the vehicle, breaking, shifting, merging, side & back mirrors, etc. As “fluent” drivers we don’t have to think about each step, it just happens naturally as opposed to the novice driver.

digital-fluency-1

Sports also allow for a good analogy by comparing the learning of skills, to knowing how to perform them and practice until  movements become unconscious and seem effortless.

digital-fluency-2

Moving back from analogies to what being fluent in a digital world means, I stumbled across a post by Christian Briggs titled  “The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency“. He pointed out:

Note that a literate person is perfectly capable of using the tools. They know how to use them and what to do with them, but the outcome is less likely to match their intention. It is not until that person reaches a level of fluency, however, that they are comfortable with when to use the tools to achieve the desired outcome, and even why the tools they are using are likely to have the desired outcome at all.

Ian Jukes and Andrew Churches even wrote an entire book titled “Literacy is NOT enough: 21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age“. A presentation by Alec Couros titled Towards Digital Fluency, inspired me to visualize the following “flow” of what digital fluency [currently] looks like to me.

digital-fluency

 

The following is the slide deck that puts my train of thought together and documents my understanding of  being skilled, literate and fluent in the digital world at this moment in time.

 

Thinking Differently About Learning: Next Steps Checklist

As I am wrapping my mind around the whole concept of “Learning How to Learn“, I am also thinking about the infrastructure of the school landscape that needs to be in place to make learning in new forms possible. Steve Hargadon, with his “You First- You be the lead learner”call for action, Will Richardson’s 3 Starting Points for Thinking Differently About Learning and Alec Couros’ slidedeck Taking on the Challenge of 21st Century Teaching and Learning are the core of my “Thinking Differently About Learning- Next Steps” Checklist

Once a school landscape/infrastructure/platforms and [educator's] Learning “You First” are in place, new forms of student learning will happen organically.

I understand that changing a school culture, starting to think differently about learning and education is very complex. It often seems an insurmountable task to fight for these changes to occur. With every step, there are many variables to consider and new obstacles to overcome. A one-page checklist seems too simplistic… but it is a starting place… and might make the initial task clearer.

The checklist below is by no means exclusive nor “how it HAS to happen”, but just my thoughts of (hopefully) helpful steps to get a conversation going at your school or your classroom, an idea of how to begin or possible next steps to continue.

Please add comments with a step, that seems to be indispensable in your infrastructure, Learning “You First” or Student Learning section.

You Can Also download the checklist as a pdf file.

 

Thinking About Learning Differently- Talking to Strangers

Our third graders are learning about different communities.They have spoken via Skype with classes from a suburb of Los Angeles, CA , an rural community in Missouri and a city, Weatherford, TX. The latest connection was with Anna Faridaku, a teacher and children’s book author from Indonesia.  Students took turns speaking with Anna, who was just amazing in connecting (via the screen) to the kids, answering and asking questions. She engaged them  and pushed them to deeper thinking about similarities and differences about our communities.

Will Richardson talks about Three starting points to think differently about “Learning. In addition to “Thinning the Classroom Wall” and “Being Transparent”, he lists “Talking to Strangers” as one of the starting point!

Being able to connect and learn with strangers is an important skill for all of us, and especially for a generation that will be learning online for the rest of their lives.

The above image visualizes how we are taking learning about a country from only looking at a map and reading about it in a book to talking to a “stranger “who lives in that country. We still used the map and books for background knowledge and preparation, but information is amplified:

  • Information comes from a primary source
  • Information is fluid, not rigid, it will adjust to the questions the students have  (a book will only hold the information that editors have decided on including and will not magically switch in front of your eyes :))
  • Information can take on directions, tailored to your students’ interests
  • Information can

“Talking to Strangers” is a critical skill to possess. It contributes to information fluency. It so dramatically contrasts the drill we heard over and over again from our parents. We used to be taught “DON’T talk to strangers” and now need the skills to do precisely that.

Disclaimer: I am not talking about talking to a stranger in a dark alley at night! :)

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cross posted with permission from Dr. Silvana Meneghini,’s On The Edge Blog. Silvana, the High School Technology Coordinator at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, shared a How-To post to connect augmented reality to student reflection by adding a layer of learning (not technology for technology sake). I highly …

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Is Technology shoving Pedagogy to the center stage? TPACK Reviewed

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Guest post by Silvana Meneghini, Academic Technology Coordinator, Graded- American School of São Paulo. Originally posted on her blog On the Edge. Pedagogical ideas like student centered learning, collaboration, and critical thinking have been around for a long time and are slowly making the way into the classroom. When technology …

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Professional Development

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Silvana Meneghini and I  work as Academic Technology Coordinators at Graded, the American School of São Paulo. ” A flashlight in the fog of technology integration“, initially the title of a conference workshop proposal, quickly developed into the desire of creating a framework to guide and coach teachers based on …

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SAMR-exercise

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21st Century Learning

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

fail

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

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Redefining My Learning

story

Silvana Meneghini and I  work as Academic Technology Coordinators at Graded, the American School of São Paulo. ” A flashlight in the fog of technology integration“, initially the title of a conference workshop proposal, quickly developed into the desire of creating a framework to guide and coach teachers based on …

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Reflection in the Learning Process, Not As An Add On

Reflection

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The Digital Learning Farm in Action

Student Tutorials- MineCraft, How to Ride a Horse, iMovie and more

minecraft-tutorial

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3 Need-Scenarios to Engage Students with Authentic Tasks

core-value-icons-tibet

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official-scribe-poster

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Global Education

Selfies Around the World

selfies

  On the heels of The Cultural Phenomena of Selfies and  iPhoneography: Photo Challenges, Ideas & Literacy, students from the American School of São Paulo, Brazil want to know more about Selfies around the world. If you and your students would like to CONTRIBUTE with actual images for an in- school and online exhibition …

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Julie Lindsay: Designing Engaging Curriculum for Global Collaboration in the Classroom

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Eduplanet21 Learning Path: Globally Connected Educator

eduplanet

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Blogging With your Classroom

Student Led Conferences: Sick and Tired of Blogs & Reflection?

SLC

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Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

fail

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

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citing-images-thumb

When using Copyrighted work with written permission from owner… Used with permission from “name” , URL link to original source and or owner online presence. Ex. Used with permission from Silvia Tolisano http://langwitches.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/google-glass-recording-225×225.jpg When using images licensed under Creative Commons… Image licensed under Creative Commons by “name or username “. …

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iPads

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

fail

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

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Self- Directed Course: iPads in the Classroom

image2-lens-of-pedagogy

Professional Learning Board just released a Self-study  iPads in the Classroom course I wrote. It is a  self-directed course to take in your own time and at your own speed. “You have an iPad in your classroom, now what?” The iPad helps us prepare today’s student for today’s world in …

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What the iPad Is and What it Isn’t

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As teachers are seeing more and more iPads in education and either using their own devices or being given a teacher iPad or a class set, it is important to realize what the iPad is and what it isn’t. The first realization needs to be that the iPad is not …

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Digital Storytelling

Workflow & Learnflow of an Animation Story

pedro

After teaching a 1:1 Toolkit class for incoming Middle Schoolers tothe 1:1 laptop environment this past quarter, I am currently teaching a Media Basics course for sixth graders. I am using a school blog to document the class (among others), showcase student work, share resources and give written step-by-step directions …

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My StoryTelling App Folder(s)

storytelling-app

Matt Gomez shared a post today with a screenshot of his storytelling iPad app folder. I wanted to reciprocate and share mine. Storytelling I Folder StoryBuddy StoryBuilder StoryPagesHD Toontastic Tappy Memories StoryBoards Premium StoryMaker HD StoryPatch In a World … Drama Build a Story PhotoPuppets HD Epic Citadel Sock Puppets …

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Visualizing Stories

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I recently found a video of 1st graders using the iPad to visualize a poem that their teacher read to them. After students drew what they imagined, they got into pairs and explained their drawings to a partner. The teacher also circulated to listen and to ask deeper questions of …

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