Deconstructing Digital Literacy

The definition of Digital Literacy from teachthought.com says that “digital literacy is the ability to interpret and design nuanced communication across fluid digital forms.” Digital literacy is not only crucial for everyone to have but is especially an important skill to be taught inside and outside of the classroom. Now more than ever, students and educators alike, are depending on the web for a wide variety of information and resources. We must understand digital literacy as it becomes more of an essential ability in our world today.

I am currently enrolled in the Secondary program with a major in Health, and minors in Social Studies and Inclusive Education. I feel as though the concept of digital literacy is something that will play a significant role in high school classrooms when I am teaching in one of my own. Students are exposed to a wide variety of technology such as iPads, Chromebooks, Laptops, and even their personal cellphones. Along with technology, high school students also use technological programs such as Twitter, Google, and Youtube, to name a few. With using technology and the applications that come with them, it is essential that students and educators are aware of online safety and can tell the legitimacy of whatever it is that they are using. With legitimacy comes fake news, which has a more substantial online presence now than it ever has before.

Fake news is news or stories created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers.  It is something that we must teach our students about because it is becoming more prominent in the online world to easily trust everything we read. We must help educate our students that not everything they read online is reliable, accurate, and valid information. It is just as essential to give them the proper learning and tools to help them filter the truth online, from the trash.

The following from an article on edcan.ca are strategies and ideas can help students identify fake news and become critical readers of the world around them :

  • Move beyond traditional – and often ineffective – information evaluation checklists
  • Prioritize helping students develop investigative techniques
  • Teach students to identify bias using tools like a media bias chart
  • Bring real-world fake news examples that we encounter everyday into the classroom.

Another resource that can help teach students to identify fake news is through the Five C’s of Critical Consuming. The video is nice and short but provides a strong message and learning tool throughout. The Five C’s of Critical Consuming are:

  • Context- When was it written? Where does it come from? Have the events changed since then?
  • Credibility- Does the site have integrity? Does the author cite? Is it an advertisement posing as a news story?
  • Construction- What is the bias? Any propaganda?
  • Corroboration- Make sure it isn’t the only source making the claim.
  • Compare- Compare to other credible sources.

In terms of the Saskatchewan Curriculum, digital literacy can be related to many subjects. In my own opinion, as long as some sort of technology is being used in any subject, digital literacy can be incorporated and related to the subject area. Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, you name it, digital literacy can and will play a role in each one. When teaching about digital literacy, it is vital that teachers are educated on it themselves, and treat it as a serious subject matter, not just something that is looked at once, and never again (similar to online safety). Students need to know that the internet isn’t always fun and that there are times when being online can be scary.  Show them a variety of news articles with different headlines, and have them distinguish real from fake. You would be surprised at what leads students to sometimes think that something as complex as a news headline is real when it is indeed fake.

There is an article written by the NCTE that discusses ways to make students aware of the dangers of providing information from unreliable sources. They talk about how students used things such as online media, blackboards, and mobile devices to help them in their learning. These goals can be incorporated into our own classrooms by having students do an online search and create presentations with their findings, using blackboards as a vote whether a source is reliable or not from its title or website, or even have students use their own mobile devices to share.

Digital literacy is critical to teach to our students and is something that they will use both in and out of the classroom. Providing learning opportunities with digital literacy will allow our students to be comfortable in distinguishing between what is real and fake that they see online, ultimately helping them see Beyond Fake News while ensuring their own personal safety too.

How are you helping deconstruct digital literacy in your own classroom?

 

 

Channelling my Inner Cat-Cow

I am happy to say that the past couple of weeks have been very productive in terms of my Learning Project!

As I was scrolling through Twitter, I came across an account called Yoga Journal. It is a page that shares not only useful tools around yoga but with overall well-being too. One thing I also love that they do is that they interview different yoga instructors from around the world. It is super cool to see how yoga is different around the globe, and this is a community I cannot wait to keep using to enhance my practice.

Yoga Journal on Twitter!

This week instead of doing practices from Youtube, I decided to do some deeper digging on the internet and look for other resources. My prime focus for this week’s practice was to work on my formation and strength. After finding the Yoga Journal on Twitter, I did some more research on the internet and was able to find their website, and I wish I would have found it sooner! The site has a list of poses with names from all levels. I thought I would give some of the intermediate ones a shot, and I think they don’t look too bad.

Along with the list of poses, they also have videos, tips, meditation, and more on their website. Safe to say this resource will be coming in handy in the next few weeks! I am going to set a goal for myself to learn 3 new poses each week and share them with photos, to see how much I can teach my body.

Boat Pose
Bow Pose
Camel Pose

Just over a week ago, on Friday before my gym closed due to the COVID-19 concerns, I attended an in-person yoga class at the gym I go to. I built up the courage to participate in my first yoga class on my own, and it is something I will surely do again. In terms of difficulty, I found it to be quite simple since the main focuses were on breath and proper positioning. The instructor asked the other members what they wanted to work on during the class, and me being there for the first time, I just went with the flow and did what everyone else did. It was so refreshing and eye-opening to do a class in person, rather than off of the screen. Like I said, I can see myself going to another class if I need some time of relaxation and stretch, but in terms of difficulty, I may keep attending them once COVID-19 is over, and the gym opens back up, to see what else is in store for me.

Since I didn’t want to take any photos during my yoga class, I thought I would create an informational video on how to perform one of my favourite yoga poses/stretches called the Cat-Cow. I find it very beneficial when I need a good stretch in my lower back, to work on my breathing, or just to ease any tension. I hope you enjoy it, and that is all I have for this week.

Do you have any useful yoga resources? If so, feel free to share them below.

Stay tuned for next week’s post to see what I learn and find out next!

Namaste// -Jaelyn

Happy Practice = Happy Moments

This past week for my yoga practice, I focused on the technical and strength aspects of yoga. I also took a step out of my comfort zone and instead of using a video from Yoga with Adriene, I chose to select a video from a new instructor’s channel named Sarah Beth Yoga. On her channel, there are tons of yoga videos! I am now doing intermediate vinyasa routines, so it was nice to experience practice from someone new! I went with her Full Body Yoga Flow Flow Intermediate Vinyasa Routine, and oh my goodness, did I ever feel the heat! Although the video was a short 20 minutes, I was definitely sweating by the end. One thing I liked with Sarah’s video is that all the moves felt more connected in a sense, and she also gave visual modifications if viewers were struggling with a particular pose. I am happy I tried out one of Sarah’s videos because it worked my body, to say the least, and can see myself using more of her videos soon.

This week I also thought it would be fun to make some progress update photos for myself. If you have been following me along my journey, you will see that the images I have posted below are the same photos in my post from a few weeks back, but with improved progress. I went back to the pictures I took of myself before and recreated the images with hopes to be able to see the progress that my body has been feeling. I am so happy to see how far I have come since I first started practicing yoga! As much as I do enjoy learning from online videos and practices, I have found it beneficial to also take a step back and work on my poses with the guidance of my body too. Being able to see my progress has helped me realize the passion I have gained for yoga thus far in my learning project, and how it is something I will pursue and continue into my future. Here’s to even more progress and happy moments with the weeks to come!

Namaste// – Jaelyn

Left-side Dancer Pose (Leg is up higher, and body appears to be more relaxed.)
Right-side Dancer Pose (Body is leaning out further, and leg is extended out more.)
“Malasana” or Yoga Squat Pose (Both feet are flat on the floor slightly improved extension from the lower back, and slight improvement of the chest is more opened up. Although elbows need to be tucked into knees more and pushing apart.)

Being a Smart Sleuth // Digital Identity

The prompt for this week’s EDTC300 required post is something I was very excited about! It is crazy to think that I was able to cybersleuth one of my classmates for an actual class since let’s be honest, it is something that many of us already do anyways… Anyways, I began my digging by typing my classmate’s name into Google and was able to find quite a bit of information. I found out that she is a snowboarder, lover of the outdoors, soon-to-be educator (of course!), and is also active on a variety of social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. She also displays herself positively and professionally on all of her platforms, which is crucial for all educators. Overall, I found it very easy to dig up information on my classmate, by just merely typing her name into a basic search engine.

Digital identity is also something that has been discussed in class over the past couple of weeks, which has allowed me to gain new knowledge and experiences for myself. A few of the main ideas that resonated with me were the ideas that it is essential to post positive contributors to the online world and also ensuring that I act online as a professional online in the same way that I would in my community. Especially being a soon-to-be educator, I must build a positive and professional platform online for myself that I can be proud to bring with me into my future. Yet, I also learned that the click of a button can also damage one person’s digital identity forever. I watched a Ted Talk from Jon Ronson titled “One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life,” and it spoke of how one woman ruined her own digital identity by one tweet. It opened up my eyes to the idea that many people post things without even thinking about it, and how that can have negative implications on a person for the rest of their life. Not saying that what the young woman posted on twitter was okay, but that with making mistakes can also come online shaming and the idea of digital forgiveness. It isn’t talked about enough, but yes, someone can make a mistake on social media, and the concept of digital forgiveness should be held in the back of everyone’s brains. We need to understand that people can make mistakes online, and yes, there should be consequences, but people must also be allowed to grow and get better.

How do you feel about digital identity? And what kind of digital identity have you created and continue to create for yourself?

Finding my Flow

Over the course of this past week, I feel as though I have made significant improvements to my yoga practice. I have begun to practice stretches and different poses on my own, and even without video. My practice has helped me learn that it is important to listen to my body, which is why I did half my assignment this week with the internet, and the other portion without.

For the online usage of my learning project this week, I used a yoga video from…. you guessed it, Adriene! The video I chose was one from her intermediate yoga series titled Total Body Yoga- Deep Stretch. I am happy to say the practice I did from Adriene this week has been one of my favourite ones to date. There was so much stretching and work on both breath control and poses, which is what I love about yoga. I find that each week is a new challenge for my body and mind, and is something I look forward to more and more.

Along with my online practice this week, I also chose to do some practicing on my own and letting my body move however it wished to. I held some stretches and allowed my body to practise breath control. After doing my own practice, my body and mind craved more, so I decided to challenge myself even more by stretching with yoga blocks. It was my first time doing deep stretching with yoga blocks, and I can definitely tell you, it will not be my last. My back and shoulders have been bugging me all week, so what a better way than to target specific areas with a deep stretch? Check out my progress photos below! If you would have asked me a few weeks ago if I was comfortable taking photos of myself in different poses/stretches in a public place, I would have said heck no! Now I have become more comfortable in accepting my body and am very happy to display my progress to others. I have also been very thankful that the gym I go to has an open room with yoga mats and blocks, which has allowed me to have a proper set location to practice in.

To summarize what I have learned this week:

  • My body has begun to crave more yoga and movement!
  • My flexibility is improving.
  • I am more comfortable trying new experiences that are able to benefit my practice.
  • Yoga blocks are something that I am going to incorporate into my practice more in order to gain better alignment, flexibility, strength and stamina.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s post!

//Namaste//

-Jaelyn

A Mom’s Opposition to the Use of Youtube

EDTC300 documentation of conversation around possible opposition of a tool (Youtube):

concernedmom101: Hi Miss Sali! John came home after school today and told me that he is required to make a video for one of his classes, and I am finding it to be a cause for concern. I have known YouTube to be a very negative platform, making it highly unsafe for children with some of the content that is allowed to be posted. Can you please clarify why this is being used and what it’s purpose is?

misssali: Hello! Thank you for expressing your questions and concerns. I plan to use YouTube in the classroom to help students create videos for their projects. With this project we will not be consuming media on YouTube, rather students will be posting their own videos. Videos are very helpful for me to asses speaking outcomes in the curriculum. It is especially helpful for those students who feel uncomfortable presenting in front of the class. Video format also allows students to be more creative. I have asked students to create an account so they can post their assignments. YouTube is a fantastic way for students to get their videos to me, as sometimes we run into problems getting videos from various devices to work. Videos such as these are also helpful for me when marking because I can go back and ensure they are meeting the requirements, and well as rewatch in case I miss anything. This is an advantage over presenting live as I can watch it as much as I need, and students can ensure they submit their best work in video platforms. An added bonus of YouTube is it allows me to teach online safety at the same time!
If you have any more specific questions or concerns don’t hesitate to message me! Best, Miss Sali

concernedmom101: Thank you for your response. It has helped clear up some of my worries. However, I still have some concerns about privacy with John using and uploading videos of himself to YouTube. I’m not sure if I am comfortable with videos of my child speaking with his face on camera being out there for everyone to see. Is there any way that a restriction can be put on that only you can see his video? I am also worried about his name and personal information being easy for others to access on his account. What is some safety that I should know with having my son on YouTube? And is he going to learn how to be safe online before he uses this resource?

misssali: Hey! That is an excellent question about privacy! We have discussed as a class online safety, including what you should not include in a username, including your name or where you live. We have also talked about strong passwords and how to keep your identity online safe. As for the videos themselves, I ask the students to post their videos unlisted. This means that only the people with the link will be able to view the video. We are going over how to do this in class this week, but if you want to read more about it I have attached a great article that explains what this means and how to do this https://wiki.umbc.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=31198917.  Students have the option when posting the video to make it unlisted or private, meaning nobody will see it but the class and myself!If students or their parents feel uncomfortable showing their face, they can use photos the illustrate what they are talking about and do a voice-over, or create a stop motion project. There are many apps and programs that help with this. You can use MovieMaker on a computer, or iMovie on Apple products. There are also stop motion apps on the app store such as Stop Motion Studio. Be sure to make sure the app has no hidden charges. For this particular app, you will have to take the pictures in-app or else it will ask you to pay money to import pictures taken on the device’s camera. I hope this clears up any worries! Best, Miss Sali

concernedmom101: Hi Miss Sali, I appreciate your professional response to my concerns. It sounds like you have extensive knowledge on this topic and in relation to other technology apps which is very reassuring. With how scary the internet can be nowadays, it causes me to be a bit freaked when I hear that my child is going to be on it. Thank you for also being open to alternatives to children and their parents who aren’t comfortable posting or having their faces on different things that are to be posted on the internet. I do also like how you are going to make sure that my son and his classmates are going to be properly educated on internet privacy and safety before they begin.
I do appreciate all of your knowledgeable responses on my concerns. Thank you for clearing everything up!

Experimenting with Yoga & Video Editing

This past week has been full of learning experiences relating to technology. While I was home over the break, I continued my yoga practice and decided that I would choose iMovie as my editing tool for the combined blog post this week. I used iMovie when I was younger to make goofy little movie trailers, but never before to edit a video myself. The app is only accessible for Apple users, so it was automatically downloaded onto my phone and computer. I chose to use the program and edit my video off of my laptop for better visibility and larger screen size. Using a video editor app also helped me learn that I am a crazy perfectionist. Let’s just say it was quite the experience… I think I made 4 different videos before I had one that met my expectations.

To start off with, I added my three videos into iMovie that I wanted to merge together as one. After adding them in, I tried to speed them up (which was my main reason for using a video editor). It took me a while, but I finally found out how by clicking the speed gage at the top of the small screen, and changing the speed to “fast.” Next, I added in some music and found out that Youtube has excellent music add-ins that are entirely free to use. The only downside to iMovie is that they only have sound effects to efficiently use, but not pre-made music. After adding in sound, I went in and muted the sound that was embedded in the videos from when I recorded them. To finish, I added some transitions to help the video flow better and a title page to help add some appeal at the beginning and end. After I finished all my editing, I saved it to my computer and then quickly uploaded it to Youtube.

To say the least, I found myself becoming more comfortable with the app through trial and error, and it is something I could see myself using again.

It took me a long time to figure it out… but I found out you can choose a variety of speeds for your video. (Which is why I wanted to use a video editor in the first place)
I also decided to add some calming music to my video to help viewers feel the calmness that yoga has to offer. The music I used was free from Youtube through their editor.
Figuring out how to mute the sound from my videos was also challenging since I didn’t think anyone would want to listen to my dogs running around upstairs. Once I found the button, it was smooth sailing from there!
Next, I thought it would be nice to add some transitions to help the frames of the different videos flow better.
Lastly, I added a title to the beginning and end to add more appeal to my video.

In terms of my yoga journey, in the first portion of the video, I chose to switch things up and try a video from Yoga with Kassandra titled 30 min Full Body Yoga – Intermediate Vinyasa Yoga. I did make it through the video, but can’t say I was a huge fan. With Adriene’s videos, I feel more comfortable and aware of what I was supposed to do during the video. Although it was good to try a video from someone new this week, I have a feeling I will slowly migrate back to Adriene’s videos again. In the second clip of the video, I chose to create my own flow, which was super fun. It was nice to allow my body to move for itself with the different poses I have learned over the past few weeks. My balance and flexibility are improving more and more, which I am very proud of. I am now even able to calmly balance myself in a headstand. The last portion of the video may not appear as if it is moving very fast, it is because I am trying to learn the Crow Pose through one of Adriene’s videos: How to do Crow Pose.

Anyways, that is all I have for this week! Stay tuned for another update next week. //Namaste// -Jaelyn