I am just going to start off this week by writing the blog post prompt for the week so that you and I can follow along better as there is a lot of material to cover!
"Required blog post: Increasing our collective digital literacy seems like the best way to combat fake news and the dangers that accompany it. What might it look like to teach about digital literacy in your subject area/grade range? What ties can you make to the curriculum? How might you incorporate the goals of the NCTE Framework?"
I am going to answer this week's blog post question by question as that is the way I like to organise my work and my thoughts.
1. What might it look like to teach about digital literacy in your subject area/grade range?
This is something I have struggled with throughout my teaching experience. I found it difficult to teach about digital literacy when I am not 100% sure what that term entails either. I also found it difficult because in order for us to use laptops or go to a computer lab, I had to book weeks in advance and I normally was not planned that fully at that point. So we had laptops a few times and then the students had their phones. It is hard to teach anything to do with technology when I have no way of providing my students with the technology.
With that said, I have discovered a few ways to teach students about digital literacy in an English Language Arts classroom from grades 9 to 12:
One article called "How do we teach students to identify fake news?" has some useful tools and tips with how to deal with it. One that I thought would be helpful in an English classroom would be teaching the students how to use and read a Media Bias Chart. It is a nice layout for students to reference to when searching the internet for sources to use in their homework or in their essays. I also liked the mention of Catfishers because not only is that a very important thing for students and youth to be aware of, but also there are many videos and articles that could go along with that to make it an engaging and memorable lesson especially at the high school level.
Another article I looked into is called "What's News: Fake, False, Misleading, Clickbait, Satire or Carefully Reported?". This article also provided good tips in helping students decipher what is good news and what is not. A few of the tips were "Investigate the URL/Site" and "Be Critical of Images". I also thought this would easily fit into an English lesson as during my pre-internship, I taught about Clickbait and during internship, I taught about Satire. They are easy words and lessons to add into the classroom as they are easy enough to explain, interesting enough to grab attention and relative enough for students to care.
2. What ties can you make to the curriculum?
The English Curriculum touches a lot throughout the outcomes on critical thinking which was mentioned in an iBook I read. The iBook is called "Lessons in Critical Thinking" and has a few student-designed lessons for multiple subjects. The one that I was most intrigued by was an English lesson called "Using TV Ads to Teach Persuasive Writing". I read through it and I think it is a super cool idea. This lesson was aimed for students between grade 3 and 5, but it could easily be adaptable for high school students as well. The teacher explained the different types of persuasive techniques and then use TV ads for the students to figure out how each one is persuading. There is a little bit more to it and an actual worksheet that goes along with it. And like I said earlier, that worksheet could definitely be adjusted for a higher grade level. I thought it was an awesome activity to keep students interested, but also to hit that critical thinking piece as well as many English courses have persuasive writing in their outcomes/indicators as well.
Also as I mentioned earlier in the post, words like "satire" are very important to English. In ELA B30, understanding satire and possibly writing in satire is actually in the curriculum, so any type of activities that explain or work on that are awesome for the English classroom!
3. How might you incorporate the goals of the NCTE Framework?"
Firstly, before reading this article, I had no idea what NCTE is so for anyone else in my position, it stands for National Council of Teachers of English. Everything in their framework is important to English teaching and covers a lot of the curriculum outcomes. They all connect to some very important aspects of English. I have written a few bullet points underneath each framework so you can see what I think about each one individually.
"Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology"
"Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought"
"Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes"
"Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information"
"Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts"
"Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments"
Overall, Fake News and helping our students be digitally literate is a huge part of our job as teachers in 2019. It may not be easy, but it is an important part for us to reflect on and work towards becoming more digitally literate as an individual.
Thanks for checking in this week!