AoP Tech News November 2017

Tech News, Support, and Information for AoP Educators!

Curious Skeptics Wanted!

Digital Literacy Pillar of the Month: Critical

by Aaron Heintz, Technology Integration Coach PreK-12


When I was studying to become a teacher at Villanova University, I was required to take an Educational Research course. At the beginning of the course our professor asked that we all become “Curious Skeptics”. She posited that when we were looking for quality educational research studies we should picture a wise old person, looking both inquisitively and yet askance at the same time. She taught us that even highly regarded journals occasionally publish studies that use poor technique, claim unsubstantiated results, or were just plain incorrect. That balance between being interested and yet skeptical of a study's conclusion allowed us to identify strong, best-practice based research.


We continue to witness the power of misinformation, deception and false narratives especially within digital environment. A generation of digital savvy, Curious Skeptics are needed now more than ever. As educators we need to teach our students how to bypass the bunk and arrive at the facts and truth. This brings us to the third pillar of Doug Belshaw’s Digital Literacies - The Critical pillar. Missed the articles about the first and second pillars - Confidence and Civic? Click the links to learn about more about them.


When Critically evaluating a piece of digital media, whether a blog post, a YouTube video or a news article, ask yourself the following questions:


  1. Who is the audience?

  2. Who is included?

  3. Who is excluded?

  4. What are the assumptions behind this content?


When it comes to writing research papers consider sharing some of the following resources with your students:


November’s Challenge: Doug Belshaw says, “Becoming more advanced in the Critical element of digital literacies involves thinking about your own [digital] literacy practices. It involves reflecting on how they have come about, what has influenced you, and how your actions affect others”(56). - The next time you are on the internet exploring, reading an article, or watching a video, and answer the four questions above. Let us know what you discover. Share it with us on Twitter @AOPTech

Leadership Feature: Mr. Jim Strandberg

"Technology is a tool that can be harnessed to help support learning in the classroom. It should never be the focus, but it can allow us to do things that we may never have dreamed possible. Think of your desired end goal in teaching and use technology to get there. Google Keep is a great tool to stay organized and on top of things."


Mr. Strandberg is principal of Bonner & Prendergast Catholic High School.

AoP Tech Team

Bill Brannick, Director of Technology

Alissa DeVito, Associate Director of Educational Technology

Aaron Heintz, Technology Integration Coach

Annabel Dotzman, Technology Integration Coach