At my school, children from Reception to Year 6 (and staff) are divided into four House Groups. Once a week we meet together in our separate groups for 45 minutes to work on various different learning projects. As a Year 6 teacher, this gives me a great opportunity to work with children of all age groups and the experience of leading learning in a diverse environment. For the children, the benefits are plentiful. Working in a ‘linear’ way across year groups allows children of all ages to come together and collaborate; to share their individual passions ideas; and to support and scaffold each other both academically and socially.
This term, I had the opportunity to plan for our House Group time with a particular focus on Digital Literacy. As a school, we are looking forward in terms of technology and moving away from the sometimes ‘narrow’ concept of ICT to the much broader idea of ‘Digital Literacy’ (see previous posts). House Group time gave me the perfect opportunity to introduce and explore the idea of Digital Literacy with the whole school and to involve the children in developing a ‘shared vision’ of Digital Literacy at school. Below is a quick ‘recount’ of the introduction ‘event’ that I held.
To kick the four week project off, we met together as a whole school in the hall with the children sat in their House Groups around the edge of the space. I wanted to explore the idea of technology, where it has come from and where it (possibly) is going as well as celebrate what we, as a whole school, have achieved already over the last year with our iTrinity project (see previous posts).
Beginning with the statement ‘You are Awesome’ immediately hooked the children and I wanted to make them all aware from the beginning how important (and awesome!) they really are. They were the key to the success of the iTrinity project and they have all been involved in developing technology across the school over the past year.
Following this, we looked back to the evolution of technology and I presented them with a few pieces of technology from the past that they may never have seen before (as well as introducing the idea that a pencil is in fact a piece of technology). The gem of them all was the floppy disk that was met with a chorus of, ‘Huh?!’ and, ‘You what?!’ from the children and a slightly different reaction from staff! I invited some children to try and order some of the items I had brought along to show them in chronological order, which proved very interesting. These items are now going to form a ‘Museum of Technology’ that will be created around the school (an idea that I know @chrisleach78 has already explored in his setting).
To end, I showed the following video, which looks forward to the potential future of technology.
We discussed the importance of Digital Literacy in terms of not only having the skills to use devices, but the ability to critically evaluate technology and its potential uses; the ability to say, ‘What’s the point?’ before using a new (or indeed existing) device. The children were all captivated by the images of the future that they were watching. The video, I think, could be used as a great stimulus for discussions around the potential philosophical/moral/social issues that come with new technology.
Over the next few weeks the children will explore their own personal digital literacy and focus on creating a vision for Digital Literacy at our school. I’m excited to see what happens and to hear what the children have to say on the range of different issues we are going to discuss along the way!