3.6 Introducting to concept of digital literacies and the 5 C's
From Matty Phillips
The expanding role of digital media in children’s lives has been an increasingly important issue for education for the last twenty years.
Research often finds that teaching literacies in schools still most often involves print-based activities. Children are still rarely asked to makes films, comics, videos or games even though they engage with all of these things as home. Organisations such as The Council of Europe have been creating frameworks to encourage teachers to incorporate digital literacies into their work with children.
In recent years Canada, Australia and Finland have each reviewed their curriculum and incorporated a broader definition of literacy to incorporate digital literacies and multiliteracies respectively as core concepts. Here the idea that texts are not just print-based but are also multmodal (visual / aural / gestural) is key.
The National Curriculum for England enables teachers to take a broader understanding of reading and writing texts to include reading and production of film, television, games and websites, but in practice this is not assessed so is not a strong feature. In China the government has made significant investments in games, virtual reality, digital books and applications of artificial intelligence in education to respond to the shift from print to digital forms of engaging with texts.
It is clear that there is a need for teachers to enable children to develop digital literacies. We have drawn on a range of recent research to develop a model to guide approaches to teaching literacies and in this animation we focus specifically of videogames.
We propose this model to guide how (rather than what) teachers teach:
- Critical (the ability to analyse, interpret and ask questions)
- Creative (the ability to design and create videogames)
- Cultural (the opportunity to a wide range of videogames)
- Collaborative (problem-solving or designing with others)
- Computational (opportunities to think computationally)
This model does not require teachers to be experts in videogames, but it does invite them to be open to children’s experience and expertise. Perhaps the most surprising element here is the presence of computation thinking, but it has been claimed by videogames guru Ian Livingstone (no less) that coding is the new literacy.
We will explore this idea later in the week, but we would love to hear your responses below.