In my daily job as a high school science teacher, I often informally refer to media literacy and digital citizenship competencies within my pedagogy. I have never taken the idea of teaching these competencies and applied them in a more formal manner within my teaching practice. Given this situation, for my major project, I have decided to undertake the creation of a curriculum-supported digital citizenship resource. This resource will be aimed towards supporting the existing French version of the Health Science 20 curriculum: Sciences de la santé 20.
Why Sciences de la santé 20? Aside from the fact that February 3rd, 2020 will be the first day of the second semester at my school, I will be beginning a new Sciences de la Santé 20 course. Consequently, this will allow me to develop my resource at the same time as I teach. This will allow me to design activities and resources that can be immediately tested and evaluated in the real world. I addition to the fantastic timing, I find the Health Science 20 curriculum to be very conducive to developing digital citizenship and media literacy skills. Many of the outcomes and indicators built into the curriculum are based on information research and sound critical thinking which corollate directly with the idea of media literacy and digital citizenship. To give a few examples:
HS20-SDS1 –> Create and carry out a plan to explore one or more topics of personal interest relevant to Health Science 20.
HS20-HC1 –> Analyze how Western, Indigenous, traditional, complementary and alternative approaches to health care can contribute to a holistic (e.g., mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) perspective of health.
HS20-HC2 –> Examine how personal, cultural and societal beliefs affect ethical decisions regarding health care.
HS20-NU2 –> Analyze dietary choices based on personal and cultural beliefs and scientific understanding of nutrition.
Although these are only a few of the outcomes within the curriculum, as one can see, they are all areas of focus that allow for the parallel development of digital citizenship and media literacy. As an example, when looking at the HS20-NU2 outcome, I can’t help but think of the variety of online media that extol the virtues of “miracle” nutritional products and advertisements for the latest weight loss diets. With our students being bombarded on a daily basis by this information on social media and on the internet at large, unless they gain better digital citizenship skills and media literacy skills, our students will become highly susceptible to this dishonest rhetoric and dangerous disinformation.
My aim is to continuously refer to these competencies in my course and try to have at least one activity per unit exclusively related to media literacy and digital citizenship. However, I plan to develop six activities, one for each major unit of the curriculum.
Technology availability is going to be a challenge. My school as a limited number of computers available and most of the time, they are booked for other classes and students who follow distance education courses. In addition to technology availability, there is a digital divide problem where some of my students have easy access to technology while others don’t. I will have to be creative and flexible in the ways I use technology to accomplish my activities. Does anyone have ideas?
To guide the preparation of my resource, I will be basing my outcomes for digital citizenship and media literacy on the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum. Thankfully, this last resource as well as the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Policy Planning Guide are both available in French! What a great starting point! In addition, I’ll be keeping in mind Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship throughout the process of building my resource.
What will this resource look like? As it stands, I would like to integrate the following tools to develop my resource.
Youtube Video Tutorials: I’d like to produce a few tutorials for my activities and release them as an Open Educational Resource.
Student Accessible Google Doc: I’d like to encourage collaboration and use some of the techniques I’ve learned in my EC&I classes to get students collaborating on projects. In addition, I will also be using the Google Doc to disseminate information and links to the students.
Student Blogging project: Much like we do in our class, I’d like for the students to complete a few blogging assignments as a way for them to apply and demonstrate their new competencies.
Teacher Guide Google Doc: As I develop my ideas in a more formal manner, I plan to document everything in a public Google Doc that will eventually be available as an Open Educational Resource.
As you can imagine, this resource will be developed in French as it makes my work applicable to my reality as a teacher and could be of use for my colleagues who also teach this same course in the francophone school division. Given all of my work will be OER’s, a willing teacher could use them and adapt them for their own needs and their own language if translation needed. Worry not, I will be blogging my progress and my process in English. Looking forward to hearing what you think!