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They’re Computer Savvy, Right? Well, Maybe…

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Presentation on theme: "They’re Computer Savvy, Right? Well, Maybe…"— Presentation transcript:

1 They’re Computer Savvy, Right? Well, Maybe…
Susan M. Zvacek University of Kansas

2 Topics: What’s technological literacy? Why is it important?
What tech literacy skills should students have? Can we build it into our teaching?

3 An Old Definition (1996) From the US Department of Education: “Computer skills and the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance."

4 Defining Elements (newer)
Using technology “responsibly, creatively, and effectively…” In order to “…communicate, solve problems, and access information.” The ability to “create, manage, and evaluate information…” and To “develop lifelong learning skills”

5 Benefits of Tech Literacy
Increased skill levels for workforce Increased citizen participation Narrowed digital divide Improved decision making Enhanced social well being

6 Aren’t my students “digital natives?”
Our students are “task-specific” tech savvy users They need to be “tech-skeptical” users Many consider themselves to be “sophisticated users” of technology

7 “Whaddya mean, I ain’t sophisticated?”
Unrealistic expectations and “extraordinary confidence” in search engines Credibility of web-based resources is rarely questioned And … the more technology experience they have, the less skeptical they are about online resources

8 Categories of Tech Literacy Skills
Relevant (Hands-on) Skill Sets Conceptual Knowledge Intellectual Capabilities

9 Relevant Skills Sets Students should be able to use (well):
Communication Tools Word Processing Spreadsheets Databases Internet Search Engines

10 Conceptual Knowledge Students should understand:
Basic concepts related to digital technology Network structures and data organization Societal issues related to technology Ethical issues dealing with privacy rights, intellectual property, etc. What technology cannot do for us

11 Intellectual Capabilities
Students should be able to: Engage in reasoning and problem solving Manage complexity Collaborate with others Evaluate information and information sources

12 Integrating Hands-on Skills into Coursework
Expect students to submit work in digital formats Ensure that students are aware of institutional resources for learning about technology tools (workshops, for example) Utilize a variety of technologies for instruction Use online communication tools Provide course content online Assess learner progress with online tools

13 Integrating Conceptual Issues
Explore how technology has enabled advances in your discipline Discuss the organization of information in scholarly resources Examine the limitations of relying heavily on technological tools Discuss ethical issues relevant to using technology in your discipline

14 Developing Intellectual Strategies
Model for students the evaluation of resources, and hold students accountable for resource evaluation in their work (consider using a site like this) Use teaching strategies that present “messy” problems with more than one right answer Require students to collaborate with others in online environments

15 Intellectual Strategies (continued)
Expect students to provide real-world examples to support their ideas Develop communication protocols as a collaborative activity with students Challenge students to explore how their point of view may be different than someone else’s and why

16 Summary It’s not our job to protect students from the influence of technology, nor to encourage them to accept it without question It is our job to equip student with the critical thinking skills enabling them to use various technologies (current tools and those not yet invented) wisely-- because… People who know “what” and people who know “how” will always work for people who know “why.”

17 Susan Zvacek University of Kansas
Contact Me Susan Zvacek University of Kansas

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