Digital Literacy


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This is the English version of 'Alfabetización Digital: Herramientas Web 2.0, redes sociales y comunidades de práctica bajo ambientes virtuales colaborativos' presented at CLED09, with some adaptations

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Digital Literacy

  1. 1. XXVII VenTESOL ANNUAL CONVENTION: “BUILDING BRIDGES IN ELT” May 29-30, 2009 Digital Literacy: What a 21st Century EFL Teacher Should Know   Evelyn Izquierdo Escuela de Educación Universidad Central de Venezuela
  2. 2. The 21st Century Society ICT Computer Assisted Analysis skills Communication Kn Social networks Solving-problem skills e ow nc Virtual Communities Digital networks led ge lli ge Knowledge construction Intelligence tele-distributed te In Group Vs Individual XXI Brecha digital Century Society Digital divide Flexibility and versatility Dynamism Gl ob ng No time or space limit Foreign languages ali ni ar za Creativity and interactivity Inter-cultural environment/diversity Le tio Continuous challenges A huge amount of n Virtual relations and information at a high speed Conexiones y relaciones connections virtuales Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  3. 3. What is digital literacy? Digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and create information using digital technology (Wikipedia, 2009). It also involves cognitive skills such as: reading, writing, numeracy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Without this abilities there is no digital literacy (ETS, 2002). Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  4. 4. Digital Literacy: Competencies According to UNESCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers (2008) to live, learn, and work successfully in an increasingly complex, information-rich and knowledge-based society, students and teachers must utilize technology effectively. Within a sound educational setting, technology can enable students to become: • Capable information technology users • Information seekers, analyzers, and evaluators • Problem solvers and decision makers • Creative and effective users of productivity tools • Communicators, collaborators, publishers, and producers • Informed, responsible, and contributing citizens Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  5. 5. Reading Discrimination and Information comprehension of oral appropriate selection of process and written texts information needed Web search Critical thinking Digital Literacy Competencies Writing skills Internet and Web tools use Shared knowledge Collaborative work Social networks Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  6. 6. What should a 21st century EFL teacher know? A 21st century EFL teacher should know:  ICTs. That means having knowledge about high technology and understand how it can be used inside and outside the classroom. He or she must know how to use a computer, Web tools, mobile phone and other electronic devices.  The importance of making connections through online social networks and being part of them  The usefulness of online communities of practice to promote collaboration, interaction, and group activities in order to learn together and share knowledge. CoPs are excellent for professional development. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  7. 7. Web tools What do you know about them? Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  8. 8. Web 1.0 Web 1.0 are personal or institutional sites based on ‘http’ (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) to publish information. They are static Web pages designed with frames and ‘gif’ buttons, and with a reduced need of being updated. These sites are very useful to issue information; however, there is no direct contact between the user and the site owner. That is, the user cannot participate in the creation of the site. There is only a very limited contact with a ‘Webmaster’. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  9. 9. Web 1.0 sample Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  10. 10. Web 2.0 Web 2.0 facilitates communication, information exchange and collaboration under a dynamic environment where users participate in the design and production of the site. Web 2.0 sites allow the use of multiple artifacts, being able to generate and share information, organize social networks, exchange videos photos, wikis, blogs, podcasts, and folksonomies among other advantages. (Wikipedia, 2009). Image by Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  11. 11. Web 2.0 tools: Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  12. 12. Web 2.0: Blogs A blog is defined as a dynamic Web 2.0 site with dated entries, usually by a single author, often accompanied by links to other blogs that the site’s editor visits on a regular basis. Think of a blog as one person’s public diary or suggestion list. ( 002/apr2002/cross.html) Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  13. 13. Web 2.0: Blog sample Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  14. 14. Web 2.0: Wikis A Wiki is a type of dynamic website with pages that anyone can edit and contribute to, including text, photos, videos, polls, and more. They offer multiple advantages: •Customizable page templates •Font and colors •Contributors can edit pages •Moderator decides who can edit •Discussion threads •Attachments •Gadgets/widgets •Videos •Embedded codes Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  15. 15. Web 2.0: Wiki sample Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  16. 16. Web 2.0: Podcasts A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication. It is generally in mp3 o AAC format. Podcasts, videocasts or vodcasts can be downloaded and retrieved later by the user in a computer or portable audio device. (Wikipedia, 2009) Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  17. 17. Web 2.0: Audio and video Audio tools like: Skype, Voicethread , Snapvine, and video tools like: You Tube o Google Video, among others, have also become highly demanded and dynamic teaching resources. They are very friendly and easy to use. They can be embedded in Wikis, Blogs and any other Web 2.0 site. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  18. 18. Web 3.0: Virtual worlds, digital games and M-learning Virtual worlds and digital games are: •Very dynamic •Facilitate interaction through an avatar •Provide audio and text chat (VW) •Simulate real life environments •Develop creativity and imagination •Excellent for language teaching M-learning: Uses mobile phones and Internet connection for instruction. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  19. 19. Virtual worlds and digital games: Second Life Second Life, OpenSim, Sun Microsystems MPK20, World of Warcraft , Eve Online, Club Penguin, WhyVille, Gaia, WebKinz, Neopets, HabboHotel, There, Kaneva, Stardoll, PixieHollow, Virtual MTV, BarbieGirls, Small worlds, Lego, Vizwoz, Twinity, Active Worlds, Meez y HiPiHi, among others, are the most known virtual worlds lately. The most famous is Second Life. Second Life is an online, totally free, 3D virtual world that offers its users opportunities to create, interact, having fun and learn through an avatar. It is a net of networks that allows users to organize in groups and communities of practice. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  20. 20. Web 2.0: VLE A Virtual learning environment (VLE) is a software system designed to facilitate teachers and students a virtual environment to develop online courses. Both teachers and students can administrate and control the system giving them the opportunity to create, modify, delete, upload, download, chat, store, etc. To run the software an Internet server is needed. Some VLE providers like Elluminate and WiZiQ offer synchronous videoconference tools, and others like Moodle offers both, synchronous and asynchronous tools. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  21. 21. Social networks It is a term mainly used for communication and information technology (ICT). In our context a network is a public or private node of Web-based sites that allow individuals to build a community in order to keep members connected, share information or common interests, exchange ideas and thoughts with their peers, and work collaboratively. A network can be run by owners, administrators or co-moderators. Members can join the community by invitation or directly by the Web site. Nowadays, most networks are developed by using a Web 2.0 (Izquierdo, 2008). Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  22. 22. Some popular social networks are…  Web providers: Yahoo, Google y MSN. They offer a wide variety of options within their platforms to create networks and connections with other providers.  Social networks to reach a high amount of contacts: Facebook, MySpace, Sonico , Hi5, Tagged, Orkut, Bebo, Ning  Sites to storage and share audio, create podcasts, leave audio messages or make phone calls: Snapvine, Podbeam, Skype, etc.  Photos: Flickr, Bubbleshare, Picassa, Photobucket etc.  Videos: You Tube, TeacherTube, Bliptv, Metacafe, etc.  Blogs (blogs): Blogger, Wordpress, etc.  Microblogging: Twitter, Crowdstatus, etc.  Wikis: Wikipedia, Wikieducator, Wetpaint, Wikispaces, PBwiki  Social bookmarking:, Diigo  Doc and PPT storage sites: Thinkfree,, Google docs, Slideshare  Learning environments, platforms or virtual rooms: Learning Times, Tapped in, Elluminate, WiZiQ, Moodle  Virtual worlds: Second Life and others already mentioned Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  23. 23. Communities of Practice (CoPs) A CoP is a group of individuals participating in communal activity, and experiencing/continuously creating their shared identity through engaging in and contributing to the practices of their communities. Online Cops usually use Web 2.0 tools and social networks to keep connected. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  24. 24. Benefits of joining a CoP Among others, CoPs are excellent for: •Developing thinking skills •Improving writing and reading skills •Keeping the listening and speaking skills alive •Increasing vocabulary •Discussing relevant topics related to the ELT field •Learning about new trends in the field •Keeping updated •Making new contacts •Strengthening peer interaction •Promoting cooperative learning •Promoting collaborative projects •Doing research Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  25. 25. Some communities of practice to join are: •Webheads in Action •Learning with Computers •Venelt •ELTnet •Avealmec Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  26. 26. Communities of practice: Webheads in Action (WIA) Webheads in Action: Online community of practice created in 1997-8 by Vance Stevens, in Abu Dhabi, Maggi Doty in Germany, and Michael Coghlan, in Australia, for ESL learners and facilitators as a student-teacher community Currently 808 members, mostly language teachers who use ICT in ELT. •It has a completely horizontal organization •Experts and newbies share at the same level •Each member develops a unique sense of belonging •Promotion and daily practice of Web tools and teaching resources •Continuous feedback •Collaborative and multi-cultural projects •Sharing spirit, cooperation, respect and appreciation, friendship and fraternity, voluntarism and much more… Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  27. 27. Communities of practice: Learning with Computers • LWC: Learning with Computers: A hands-on international community created in 2005, 458 members, aimed at English teachers interested in integrating Web tools into their classes Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  28. 28. Communities of practice: VENELT •VENELT: Venezuelan English Teachers: A nation-wide network created in 2006, 140 members, aimed at English teachers in Venezuela, all educational levels Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  29. 29. Communities of practice: ELTnet •ELTnet: English Language Teachers' Network • A young emergent national network sponsored by the British Council in Venezuela, created in 2008, 290 members, aimed at secondary school teachers Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  30. 30. Communities of practice: AVEALMEC: Venezuelan CALL Association AVEALMEC: Asociación Venezolana para la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje de Lenguas Mediados por el Computador A young national association created in 2007 by teachers from different national universities, 25 very active members and other teachers under training, aimed at language teachers interested in ICT, a subscription fee is required Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  31. 31. Conclusions: • Teachers should use different digital resources to ease a productive teaching and learning process. • Teachers are responsible for the education of a new society, so we cannot be behind the ICT development. We are supposed to teach the current and future net generation, and not the other way around. • We have to reinforce the cognitive and social skills in our students, successful keys in the 21st century society. It is not the common literacy anymore. It has to do with a new society based on group work more than individuals. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  32. 32. Conclusions:  Students should: a) be aware of their environment, b) be willing to learn with different formats, c) be flexible enough to face new challenges, d) understand diversity, and e) be open to a continuous learning.  Educators should cooperate in order to guarantee new spaces for technology access to more and more people in the world and under the same conditions.  Technology provides us with new resources and opportunities to teach in a different way, but it is not a panacea per se. Teachers must use ICTs appropriately to make them productive, effective and encouraging. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  33. 33. A final question… Do you have the digital competencies to teach the 21st century net generation? Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  34. 34. References • American Association for Higher Education (October, 1999) and the Council of Independent Colleges (February, 2004). Information Literacy Competency Standards of Higher Education. [Online] Available at: Retrieved April 15, 2009. • Downes, S. (2007) What connectivism is. [En línea] Blog: Half an hour. [Online] Available at: http:// Retrieved November 23, 2008 • Educational Testing Service, International ICT Literacy Panel (2002). Digital transformation: A framework for ICT literacy (A report of the International ICT Literacy Panel). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. [Online] Disponible en: Retrieved March 18, 2009 • Izquierdo, E. (2008). Networking - Redes de apoyo para profesores de inglés. Presentation at Lenguas y Contemporaneidad. Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, May 30-31, 2008. [Online] Available at: • Izquierdo, E. y Verschoor, J. (2009). Social Bookmarks. Integrating Technology for Instruction and Learning. [Online] Available at: /social-bookmarking-1293488 Retrieved April 3, 2009 • Jones, C. (2003). What is a Community of Practice? [Online] Retrieved August 14, 2005. Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  35. 35. References  Marquès, P. (2000,). Nueva cultura, nuevas competencias para los ciudadanos. [Online] Updated in 2007 and 2009. Available at: Retrieved November 22, 2004  Rheingold, H. (1993). “The Virtual Community”,. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley.  Siemmens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. [Online] Available at Retrieved March 12, 2009  UNESCO (2008, en Eduteka). ICT Competency Standards for Teachers[Online, Eduteka Website] Available at Retrieved January 18, 2009  Webopedia (2009). History of Blogging. [Online] Available at: http:// Retrieved July 29, 2008  Wikipedia (2009). Virtual online environments. [Online encyclopedia]. Available at http:// Retrieved April 16, 2009.  Wikipedia (2009). Podcast. [Online encyclopedia]. Available at http:// Retrieved April 18, 2009.  Wikipedia (2009). Tim Berners-Lee. [Online encyclopedia]. Available at http:// Retrieved April 16, 2009.  Wikipedia (2009). Web 2.0. [Online encyclopedia]. Available at Retrieved April 14, 2009 Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention
  36. 36. Thank you very much for your attention! Evelyn Izquierdo Escuela de Educación Universidad Central de Izquierdo, E. (2009) VenTesol Annual Convention