As a progressive Learning Community, South Island School embraces technology as we develop and empower our community to become media literate Digital Citizens who can Make a Difference in an increasingly complex and interconnected global society.
What do we mean by Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy is an important entitlement for all of our students at South Island School in an increasingly digital culture. It furnishes them with the skills, knowledge and understanding that enable critical, creative, discerning and safe practices when engaging with digital technologies in all areas of life.
To be digitally literate is to have access to a broad range of practices and cultural resources that you are able to apply to digital tools. It is the ability to make and share meaning in different modes and formats; to create, collaborate and communicate effectively and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes.
Some people associate digital literacy simply with the functional skills of being able to use a computer or particular software package effectively. But at South Island School digital literacy is about much more than having access to or being able to use a computer. It’s about collaborating, staying safe and communicating effectively. It’s about cultural and social awareness and understanding, and it’s about being creative.
Being digitally literate is about knowing when and why digital technologies are appropriate and helpful to the task at hand and when they are not. It’s about thinking critically about all the opportunities and challenges digital technologies present, whether these are, for example, Web 2.0 tools such as social networking sites and Wikis or animation and editing software or digital cameras. It can be helpful to think of digital literacy as made up of a number of inter-related components or strands.
In the 2016-17 academic year, the ESF adopted the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) with South Island working hard to embed these vital strands into our curriculum. For instance, in meeting Standard 5, the school has partnered with Beyond Skin Deep (BSD) Coding Academy to use the Launchbox: an online platform in which students have the opportunities to learn coding skills in both Maths (Y7 Probability Unit) and Science (Y7 Robotics Unit). The framework of seven strands provides a very useful unifying approach to digital literacy, with plans to introduce the ISTE standards for teachers in 2017-18.