There is nothing more valuable than raising a generation of kids who are knowledgeable and experienced in our online world. The only way we can combat misinformation, apathy, and online hate is to instill digital literacy skills in our students…. and that is exactly what I have set out to do.
Digital Literacy for Kids
Our most recent assignment in #eci834 was to start developing an online or blended course prototype. I had the idea to create a course on the topic of digital literacy so that students learn how to succeed in a digital world. After brainstorming, planning, and adjusting… my “course” ending up turning into website called Digital Literacy for Kids. I initially wanted to host my course on a Learning Management System (LMS), as you can read in my initial Course Framework, but I soon changed my plan. With my experience teaching grade 2-4 and my passion for EdTech, I have come to realize that digital literacy resources for kids are challenging to find. I decided that it was more important for all teachers to have access to the lessons and activities than to isolate them using an LMS. In the end, I created a website to curate digital literacy lessons, activities, and resources for educators to openly access online, similar to the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER). I created a WordPress site, bought the domain, and started building my course.
I broke down my website menu into various categories: Course information, which includes my Course Profile and Course Outline, lessons, and resources. For the resources section, I plan on adding a list of other reliable digital literacy resources for people to easily click and access. Each time I create a new lesson about digital literacy, I will add it to the lessons menu category. It’s amazing to see how quickly a website can come together when you have the inspiration to develop a project.
Planning, Creating, and Implementing
My first lesson for my Digital Literacy for Kids website was an introduction lesson to the concept. I designed my lesson around the theme of “adventure” in order to make it more engaging for kids. I always start the beginning of the school year as an adventure theme for my grade 2 and 3 students and they LOVE it. I knew that this concept would be easily enjoyed by primary students. Everything I created for the lesson, such as the instructional video and the resource templates, were all created using Canva. I have the Canva for Education account, so I found that it had everything I needed. I was able to make various types of activity templates, a digital literacy poster, an assessment guide, and an instructional video. Each of these resources were added to my Lesson 1 post on my website. I added the activity pages to the website as downloadable files so that teachers could just click, download, and use. I also created a Seesaw activity and Google Slides template that teachers can copy and distribute. The instructional video had a lot of images and text options to choose from in Canva, however, the animation and song choices were limited. Even though I didn’t have as many content creation options as a paid program like VideoScribe or Powtoon, Canva still gave me what I needed to deliver a successful “adventure” themed instructional video, as you can see below.
Feedback from the Dream Team
In class last week, we had the opportunity to meet in groups, show our courses to each other, and then give constructive feedback. I met with Matt, Erin, and Mike, in other words… the “dream team,” as Matt called it. We had a great time hearing about each other’s courses and having positive discussions. I found it extremely beneficial to have my classmate’s hear my vision and then give me constructive feedback to make it even better. Some of the feedback and advice I was given was:
- The website is organized and easy to follow.
- The font used for the activities and video lesson are easy to read for kids.
- The self assessment rubric is too advanced for young kids. Adapt the rubric so that it’s more “kid friendly.” Break down the word “understand” so that students know exactly what they need to do to reach expectations.
- Add audio to the Seesaw activity so that it’s more accessible.
I decided to take each of their suggestions and apply it to my project. I added the audio to the Seesaw activity and created a new self assessment guide for students.
After I received my feedback, Alec popped into the breakout room and gave me some feedback as well. He said that I should consider putting a Copyright on my website and resources. He explained how to use Creative Commons in order to make a license for my work… which is much easier than I thought! The steps are as follows:
- Go to creativecommons.org.
- Click Share Your Work
- Click Get Started
- Choose “yes”, “no”, or “sometimes” when it asks if you want to allow adaptations of your work to be shared.
- Click “yes” or “no” when it asks if you want to allow commercial uses of your work.
- It will then show you the license you selected and give you an embed code to use for your website.
It is so important to pause and reflect before moving forward in any project. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with my classmates, share our work, and hear various perspectives. Moving forward, I will keep these considerations in mind when I continue building my course and creating my lessons. So as I move forward with my course design, I’m wondering…
- What types of themes or lessons do you want to see in my critical thinking lesson?
- After looking at my course so far, is there anymore feedback you have for me?
I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Feedback is essential in this process so that we can make our courses the best they can be!