Students come into see me for career advising. Many times they come to me to have their resume critiqued. While I look at the content of their resume to make sure it is the best it can be, I also look at formatting. If you chose to bold your sections, did you do it to all of them? Do you consistently spell out all of the months? Does all of your information that should be along the right-hand margin line up on that margin?
Most students rock the first two questions, but that third one is brutal to see. Students have their content lined up all over the place. When I go to show them how to remedy the situation, I look like a wizard of some sorts. I never really thought of it, until I attended #SAtechMI and had a conversation about digital literacy.
Digital Literacy, to me, is the ability to work the resources that are available to you via the computer. It extends past simply knowing it, but understanding it. We do a real disservice to students these days because we simply assume because they grew up with it, a digital native, that they are the masters of the technology.
Well, they aren't. I will throw myself into the mix, so really it is WE aren't.
I will agree that when it comes to technology, we are the firsts to try it, the firsts to use it, the first to get the basics. I will agree that many assume that it comes naturally. However, technology is a skill, and like all skills, it needs to be developed and supported. Being the "tech guy" in the group and not the musician, I can safely say technology is not a natural skill.
If we assume that students know it, where are they learning it? My guess is through a combination between trial and error and observations. So when we ask for presentations that are creative, and receive slides with all text that is bullet points, who do we really have to blame?
Today I asked a student, after again receiving the look as if I have magical powers, if he had received any class or "training experience" to use Microsoft Word.
He laughed, "No, did you?"
I would like to thank my 7th grade technology course for teaching me not only Word, but PowerPoint and Excel. As much as we need to continue our learning about technology, we need to consider our students as well. Imagine if there was someone or a group of people on campus or in the school was to teach how to use the technology that we have just assumed they know. Imagine the digital literacy when it comes to understanding Microsoft Office, Prezi, Social Media, and Google. We expect our students to be able to read, write, communicate thoughts, problem solve. We need to include digital literacy into the curriculum from early on, all the way through their college career.
Where would you say you are at in terms of your digital literacy? Are there things that you would love to learn? Comment below and find out that you are not alone, and more importantly, help me find more tutorials that I can create! Thanks for reading!
Achievement Unlocked: Bonus Content
If it feels right, I am going to share some bonus thoughts, jokes, stories, etc. that are completely unnecessary for the main post, but are fun and somewhat related to the post.
Some of the other random things that make me feel like a wizard.
"Why are there dots all over my document?" - Student responding to the fact that I selected "show punctuation"
"I don't have to insert the lines?" - Student commenting on using the borders function instead of the draw line function.
"I wished I knew Prezi" - Stop wishing and go play with it...
"There are lists in Twitter?"
"You can chat in Twitter?"