We often hear the word lifelong learning and can define it simply as the process of learning which is on-going. Howell (2014) suggests that it is a term well- focused on and valued especially in the education curriculum. We strive to teach our students and further develop their skills in lifelong learning to enable them to grow independently.
Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. (2013) describes lifelong learning as “…a continuously supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment…”.
Whether it is a student who logs on to online sites such as Khan Academy to further grasps the idea of long divisions on weekends or a stay-at-home mum who wants to learn to play a ukelele on YouTube, learning has no boundaries. The idea seems endless and technology has given us this opportunity to do so in the comfort of our homes and in our time. Therefore, it seems inevitable to teach our students to build this lifelong learning skill.
Check out this YouTube video for Ukelele lessons for beginners by Jeff Burton.
Burton, J. (2011). Ukelele for beginners – lesson 1 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJTBxL-xsX4
EdTechReview(2103). What is lifelong learning? [Image]. Retrieved from http://edtechreview.in/images/Daily/E-Learning/lifelong_learning_meaning.jpg
Howell, J. (March, 2014). iLecture: Living and Learning in the Digital World Mod 02 05 Week 8. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/b2505e94-8731-4027-a469-e157191e565b
Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. (2013). What is lifelong learning? Retrieved from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12
Many of us have used digital technologies in our lives, be it for work or for play. These technological skills that we unconsciously develop through the use of technology may be considered as skills that we can develop and use when teaching in classrooms. The transfer of knowledge and skills we use during private time influence what we do in our professional time and is known as digital blurring (Howell, 2014). In the video, Howell goes on to mention four areas in particular; gaming, language, virtual world and blogging that digital blurring might occur.
Games such as Hay Day is about farm management in a virtual world. The game includes growing and harvesting wheat, corn and soybean that are used to make food for the animals. The animals then produce eggs, milk and wool to trade with other users for coins used to expand the farm and move on to the next level.
As McGonigal (2012) suggests that when we play games, we believe we are the best version of ourselves. I believe this is true when my children tested the game I created on Sploder . It was my first time at game designing and although it was time consuming, it was very interesting. What was even more fascinating was the observation of how my children were so engaged by trying to accomplish the mission of saving the “crystal”. Also now, they think mum is the coolest! Please click here to check out my game or go to http://www.sploder.com/?s=d0044fh4 (If you enjoyed it, there is a sequel of Battlemania II which my son created. Just click here.)
Being a teacher in the future, I believe we can use these technological skills in our classrooms to further develop our students in their learning in terms of gross motor skill, logical and critical thinking skills that would be beneficial to them. McGonigal’s take on gaming is that it makes us motivated to perform what matters and inspires us to collaborate and cooperate which are skills young students need to grow as a person (2013).
Hay Day Official [Image]. Retrieve from https://www.facebook.com/HayDayOfficial
Howell, J. (2014). [iLecture] Living and Learning in the Digital World Mod 02 04 Week 7. Retrieved from http://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au//templates/1f80f82f-91ba-408a-9a23-c74d701fe3f1/echo_files/echo_iphone.htm?contentDir=http://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au//1413/2/9d8a1cd3-f679-4184-8791-6765f6454274/&streamDir=rtmp://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/echo/_definst_/1413/2/9d8a1cd3-f679-4184-8791-6765f6454274/§ionDir=http://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/sections/a24cf487-adde-43ad-a7a7-bd36a4f1a489/
McGonigal, J. (Mar, 2010). Gaming can make a better word. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/dE1DuBesGYM
Sploder: where games come true [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/
“An evolving aptitude that empowers the individual to effectively and ethically interpret information, discover meaning, design content, construct knowledge, and communicate ideas in a digitally connected world. We believe this aptitude thrives when inquiry, play, and exploration are valued and encouraged as meaningful learning experiences.”
– Boise State University.
To put it simply, digital fluency speaks about the ability to perform tasks that produce an outcome using technology. We are aware that the young generation eat and breath technology. Most have the opportunity to develop their skills at using technological devices at a very young age.
Howell (2012) talks about the the level of digital fluency that a particular age group will acquire during the course of his/her education. The inclusion of digital fluency supports skills, aptitudes and abilities of students and therefore therefore vital. ICT has been encapsulated across the curriculum to further develop skills that would benefit students later on in life. This is so that we can move them from being digitally literate to digitally fluent ( MacManus, 2013).
I have used a number of software and applications such as Keynote, Prezi, iMovie, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and now WordPress to gather, research and present information. Primary students of today may not be old enough to set up certain social media accounts but many are proficient with Wordle, Doodle, Edmodo, Tagxeedo and Wikispaces. Teachers today would need to help students develop their skills and be fluent by applying these software in lesson plans.
Academic Technology. (n.d). Boise State Explore. Retrieved from http://at.boisestate.edu/home/definition-of-digital-fluency/
Daily Telegraph. (2014). Kids addicted to iPads [Image]. Times Live. Retrieved from http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/04/17/toddlers-addicted-to-ipads
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Oxford University Press.
MacManus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. Guardian Professional. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital
The topic that we have just gone through in Week 5 talks about Digital Information. What made me stop to ponder was the sheer amount of information that we obtain in any given day that comes from the digital devices. I started to look at myself and the way I obtain information digitally.
On any given day, my morning would start with the 7am news on my radio alarm clock. Then I roll on to my bedside to grab my iPhone where I check what I have on today on my calendar. That is usually followed by the question of “what to wear?”. Another look at my iPhone to check the weather for the day. There you have it, I have used a digital device to retrieve information even before I am out of bed! Well, that says a lot about how we retrieve and send out digital information.
Last year I took to Pinterest after I was recommended by my daughter’s class teacher. I was a little apprehensive to begin with because I was dreading setting up another account but soon found my self creating boards for teaching resources, to art and craft ideas for my children and travel information. At the end of the day information at your finger tips, neatly organised digitally is what we need to sort out our complicated lives. Click here to check out my Pinterest board.
Whether we like it or not, moving forward we will be faced with an influx of digital information. We just need to be knowledgable enough to filter what we need and what is useless. Therefore it is important that the young generation be guided to develop skills to siphon through digital information.
Dreamstime. (2000-2014). Global digital concept [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-global-digital-technology-concept-image17575170
Lauren (2013). Pinterest rolls out promoted pins [Image]. The North Blog. Retrieved from http://www.thenorthblog.com/2013/10/pinterest-rolls-out-promoted-pins/