Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Challenges to Digital Literacy

To me, the challenge that would seem to be the most difficult to overcome out of the five challenges listed in the "School Libraries Cultivate Digital Literacy" piece would be choice #4, Instructional Time. What's tricky about this notion is that, while it might seem like a relatively simple issue–after all, how hard could it really be to teach kids how to use different technology tools?–the actual process of educating students on how various technologies work is something that is going to take a lot of patience and is going to come with a lot of 'wrinkles.'

By 'wrinkles,' I'm referring to unexpected issues that inevitably crop up. Educating a classroom full of students on how a particular program works is bound to come with its share of difficulties. Not every student will gain as strong a grasp on the program as others; truthfully, the same could be said for any material that is taught, be it math, English, history, etc. The only real difference with teaching a computer program or technology tool is that there is a lot more at stake, financially. This leads me to the main reason that I think that finding and using Instructional Time will prove more difficult than one might initially assume: how does one determine with relative definitiveness which programs will prove beneficial?

With math, English, history, etc., there's more or less one way to learn to do something...but when it comes to technology, there are various tools that all do the same thing, albeit via different directions and processes. What's more, the amount of various tools is only ever increasing, making for more and more potential options...and in the process, making it tougher and tougher for teachers to experiment, try out, and ultimately select the program that they want to integrate into their curriculum. The goal when it comes to educating students on a new concept is to make it as easy to grasp and understand as possible...but with technology changing so rapidly at such a fast rate, the challenge for teachers will be knowing which tools to devote their precious class time to instructing students on how to use. 

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