Skip to main content

What Is Your Digital Literacy Plan?



This week, our #cyberPD Google Group is reading the last two chapters from Digital Reading:What’s Essential in Grades 3 - 8 by Bass and Sibberson.  Rather than summarize all of my learning, I want to share how I plan to immediately apply my learning to my college classroom with these two ideas:

How Do You Like To Read?

The authors talked about authentic assessment within a digital classroom. In particular, they focused on reading interest inventories to get to know their students and the kinds of readers they are. Just as our teaching practices have changed, so should our assessment, including these inventories. They need to expand to include digital reading practices.

This was a real ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. In each of my literacy classes, I require students to reflect on the literate histories and their identities as readers and writers. We talk about how our experiences and preferences shape the kind of readers, and teachers, we are. Even though we talk about digital literacies and the course is held online, the inventory I give to students as a starting point never asked them about those practices! What?! What does this inadvertently say? As Frankie writes: By adding these questions, I not only get to know the digital reading experiences of my students, but I also let my students know that I believe reading includes more than traditional texts. I have to be more mindful of the fact that the practices I use in the college classroom lead my teachers to believe certain things about literacy that they then pass along to their students. Changing my reading inventory was a simple way to start this journey.

So, I created a very simply graphic to share and post in my classes to get the conversations started this Fall. I hope to play around with it and create one they could use with elementary students, but this is a start.

Digital Literacy Plan

In the text, Frankie shares her plan for introducing families to digital communications. As we end our #cyberPD book study, I thought it would be fitting to create my own plan for introducing my graduate students to digital literacies in my classes so they could then do the same for their classrooms. Here is what I am thinking:

Websites and Digital Showcases
I have a website that provides a bit of background about myself, links to my blog and social media sites and highlights my conference schedule. Rather than just have it be ‘there’ and share it with students as a form of communication, I want to better use is as a model for what they might do with their own classroom. I need to keep it up-to-date and interactive and include a digital portfolio of my work and happenings in my classes, as well as provide links to the most current research and professional information. By doing so, and explicitly articulating my work to teachers, they can clearly see the rationale for having such a website for their own classroom and have a model for creating one.

Professional Blog
Blogging for the world to see is still relatively new for me, but I have been ‘blogging’ over the past 10 years as I created online lectures and course announcements for my graduate students, but within the confines of my courses. My goal is to continue to blog and connect with other educators to show my students the power of the practice. Even if students do not blog themselves, reading the blogs of others, and connecting with other educators, has numerous benefits. By encouraging them to comment and reply, I can show them the power of blogging that they might then take to their classroom.

Social Media
My graduate students are already on social media, but in the past, I have not taken advantage of this and used it as a learning tool in my classes. I tended to stay within the confines of Blackboard. My goal for the coming year is to better utilize social media within my courses so my students can see the professional power of doing so. By helping them use these outlets professionally, I am opening them to the power of using them as tools for learning and communication with their students as well.

Google Docs and Forms
Many schools are abandoning traditional software and instead, are ‘Going Google’. I cannot possibly prepare my students for a teaching position unless I use these tools in my own classes. More and more, I realize I need to move away from Blackboard alone and use additional networks and resources. I have already included Google Docs and Forms into my classes and hope to use Hangout in the Fall for synchronous communication.

Technology Tools For Learning
Above all, I have many plans for changing the ways I teach the content of my field to better model the ways I hope my graduate students will teach literacy in their classrooms. I will teach through the technology, rather than teach the technology itself, and provide authentic experiences and choices that facilitate intentional decision-making. I will articulate my decisions and invite discussion around them. Through technology, I hope to build connected communities, teach the content of my field, provide literacy coaching and collaboration and lead my field forward in important ways.

I am excited for the journey ahead and could not have possibility envisioned the possibilities if it were not for the #cyberPD group!

Stephanie

Comments

  1. Love the visual and love the idea of having these question posted in the classroom. I had never thought of that but it would keep the conversation going and I can imagine kids reflecting more naturally throughout the year as they change as readers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Franki! As a teacher educator, rather than classroom teacher, I am constantly trying to find ways to make the information concrete and easily remembered later in the classroom.I find that any sort of printable or reference page helps act as a reminder to make those changes. I'll share the more kid-friendly version as soon as I finish it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love how you developed an action plan for yourself based off of the book - So many wonderful ideas for integrating digital tools into your college class.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Adding questions about digital literacy does change the emphasis, and I think you are right: It shows you value digital literacy. I love using Google docs, and am surprised at the number of people who have never even heard of it, let along started using it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great action plan! The questions on your chart can really change the conversations among your students.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am repeating what those above said, but I love that you took it step by step & applied each part of the reading to your own particular teaching life. Your classes will be so valuable to these teachers to be!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Stephanie,
    I love that you have taken all of the thinking in this book and have moved to action. You already have a plan for how you are going to model and help students to see the way digital literacy matters. Today I was in a meeting about being intentional about our culture. The speaker reminded us, "If it's not in you, it won't happen through you." It seems you are living a digital life and helping your students to see how this is an essential piece of learning.

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Instructional Coaching Toolkit!

I have a thing for notebooks. And colorful markers. And sticky notes. I use them in all aspects of my literacy teaching and coaching. During coaching conversations, I often find myself providing on-the-spot demonstrations with these tools. I might engage teachers in a brief lesson on phonemic awareness and ask them to sort sounds. I might walk teachers through word building activities so they experience a new way of engaging students. I might introduce books to teachers to model how they might do the same for their students. I might even create game boards on sticky notes as visuals for teachers to support instructional planning. These demonstrations and notes act as instant and tangible tools to further teacher learning.
Over the years, I’ve compiled these artifacts to create coaching toolkits for the teachers I work with. My toolkit for ‘word work’ might include a picture of an anchor chart created with students, a list of words appropriate to the alphabetic feature students are wor…

Focus on Coaching Cycles

At this point in the school year, many of us are deep into our classroom coaching and engaging in coaching cycles with teachers. Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more. Each cycle typically has a pre-coaching conversation, classroom coaching/co-teaching/observation and then follow-up conversations as well.You can find theforms and templates I tend to use for classroom coaching here.
For me, my coaching cycles right now are in the context of my graduate education courses. Each week, I engage in a single coaching cycle with each of my students: lesson planning, observing lessons and coaching conversations. We repeat this for ten weeks of the course and the focus of our cycles shift and change over time. We also meet for small-group coac…

Leading By Learning

This summer, I vowed to be intentional in how I spent my time so that when the new school year arrived, I would feel refreshed and renewed. Admittedly, the summer seemed to fly by, but I did carve out time for my own professional learning. I read every day, I wrote in my notebook (almost) daily, tried my hand at gardening, spent time with my kids and just tried to get better at being me. Some days, I killed it. And other days, well….you know. So, as I head into another school year, I know that I need to be incredibly intentional in how I spend my time and ensure that I focus on my own learning as an educator. It is this learning that fuels my work: it lifts my reading spirits, fuels my writing heart and reminds me that leading the learning of others requires that I remain a continual learner myself.
It is this core belief that drives my teaching, coaching and leading this year. I am even more committed to my own professional learning to fuel my work and lead by example. I have purpose…