Week #3: Digital Literacy for Dummies

This week we had the privilege of having Mary Beth Hertz guest lecture our EC&I class. This was an eye opening experience for myself as I learned quite a bit about some technology aspects and education that I probably would not have spent time on with my students. When we started the class Mary Beth talked about how she spends time with her students asking simple questions that quite frankly I would not have. I was completely blown away at how these questions absolutely should be covered, however. Questions such as: What is the internet? What is an IP? What are domains? What are cookies?

I get caught up in the fact that students, quite possibly, know more about the internet that I do, so there were some initial assumptions by myself that I need to address and adjust to within my learning environment. Addressing these initial important questions about the vast world that is the internet, is critical to the understanding and growth of students in a digital age.

Another aspect of the conversation that really struck a chord with me was a quote that Mary Beth references from Dayna Boyd, “Teens aren’t addicted to social media, they are addicted to each other.” I thought that this was oddly profound and made complete sense. What would happen if there weren’t many students on Snapchat, Instagram or Tik Tok? Thinking about this more I realized that this has happened with Facebook. Not many students are on Facebook or at least use it as much as the other outlets that they have. This very well could be simply because their friends and acquaintances are also not using it, so why bother? Social media is about connecting with others and updating with video’s, pictures, and text…if there is a vacancy of friends on those apps why use them? It’s the fear of missing out (here is a great article on FOMO) that has students, and adults, using these outlets. We want to be seen, noticed and liked as much as possible, validation is massive to students and social media outlets are where they get that validation and attention.

Schools are the perfect place for students to learn about social media tools and how to use them responsibly and efficiently. If our future generations can harness the skills to effectively balance and learn about the risks about using social media, then the future looks bright!


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8 Responses to Week #3: Digital Literacy for Dummies

  1. kcappy says:

    I was also super surprised and taken aback when she said she goes over those things with students. I actually did an assignment where students had to pick a historical figure and make them a Facebook page on a blank template, and I could not believe most had never even seen a Facebook profile before. It makes sense though – why be on it if your friends aren’t?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your title! I feel like we could all benefit from being in her classroom where she goes over the very basics of the internet and technology. An understanding of all this would be so important for teachers so we could pass this along to students. I agree we make assumptions that students already know all this but really they’ve just been thrown in like us and learn along the way. I wish all teachers could’ve listened to her on Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sarahross says:

    Great summary of the presentation! With what you said about students knowing more than adults I also found it interesting when she said that sometimes it is the kids that are managing the technology at home! This really challenged my outlook on the responsibility that teachers have to educate students if they aren’t neccesarily getting it from home!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melinda says:

    Hi Adam,

    I think your blog title is very accurate. I definitely feel I need to read Mary Beth’s book to have a better understanding of digital literacy as well as media literacy. As she mentioned, in this ‘digital playground’ we cannot assume that our students have the knowledge and skills to navigate our digital world with integrity. In order to be able to reach our students who would fall in the digital orphan and exile category, I think it is crucial to address social media tools and their appropriate usage by bringing them into our classrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Cypersecurity risks for students – Nataly Moussa

  6. Dean Vendramin says:

    Interesting that you said that school is a perfect place to learn … but some stakeholders (parents/guardians/govt/admin) don’t seem to think so sometime or give it the presence it deserves. Think that teens like to use something that their parents aren’t also using. So they use tools like Tik Tok that are ‘ hip’ and many parents do not use / know about. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

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