Over the course of the last nine weeks as I have studied and learned about the various digital literacies presented within this course, I have been amazed at the sheer amount of new information that students of the 21st century will require to not only acquire new knowledge effectively but to also successfully participate in the workplace. Students of this generation are constructing new knowledge in ways that could not be contemplated twenty years ago and the job of the educator must shift to not only include the standard curricula from years past but also the digital literacies of today.
The most striking revelations I have discovered throughout this course are the researched-based findings from various institutions around the country and the world that have illustrated how student’s minds are adapting to ever-changing technological landscape. Unlike years past, particularly my own generation and those that came before, today’s students cannot simply be given information, process it individually, and produce an artifact that displays understanding. The new technological social landscape has changed the way that students learn, communicate, and process information. As an educator, after this course, I find myself focusing designing and focusing my lesson planning time on how to amend previously developed lessons to include new digital literacies to connect more with student interests, produce greater student motivation, and ensure that my students are able to successfully compete in this new world.
From this point on my teaching techniques will no longer simply focus on fulfilling classroom objectives; I will now incorporate digital literacy into every class. Although this may be difficult for other educators, particularly if they do not have the technological tools at their disposal, I am blessed to work in an institution that is relatively well-funded and gives me the opportunity, and technological tools, to incorporate digital literacy lessons into my class daily. The various assignments during this course have provided me with a fantastically diverse idea base that I can begin to apply within my own classroom and assist my students in developing their understanding of the digital landscape.
Over the course of the next few years, I plan on enrolling with my county’s professional development program. This program has a specialized series of classes that promotes the inclusion of technology in the classroom, but also provides concrete ideas and steps to take to ensure that the students are developing digital literacy skills as well as learning to become better readers and writers. This course set will allow me to continue to develop the skills that I have begun to harness within this class and will promote even more creative lesson development as I become more skilled in the process and create new lessons to engage my students, motivate my students, and instill within them powerful and useful skills for their lives. Although this goal will take time, approximately two years, I feel confidant that by continuing course work similar to this class, as well as using my classroom as a space to implement these new ideas, I will become a skilled educator of digital literacy and help all of my students.
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, it is now more important than ever that educators continue in a quest for life-long learning and contirube new ideas, not only within their own classroom, but within their entire school. As our economy shifts and the world changes, we as educators are on the front line and must ensure that our students are highly-qualified and well skilled as they continue their educational career and work to make their country and the world a better place.