AoP Tech News August 2017

Tech News, Support, and Information for AoP Educators!

Digital Literacy - A Remix v3.0

By Aaron Heintz, Technology Integration Coach PreK-12

As the AOPTech Team reflected upon the 2016-17 school year including the vision of technology in our classrooms and the needs of our teachers, we saw the opportunity to select the Pillars of Digital Literacy as a theme for this upcoming school year. We introduced this theme over the summer and will be carrying it through our newsletters this year. We will be focusing on Doug Belshaw’s Eight Pillars of Digital Literacies The pillars are Confidence, Civic, Critical, Cognitive, Cultural, Constructive, Communicative and Creativity: These pillars combine to form an overlapping matrix that combines to form Digital Literacies. Each month we will examine one pillar, and discuss how it impacts us as teachers, and how it may impact our school communities. In order for us to understand how these pillars work together, we first must explore each pillar individually. It is also important to consider not only how these pillars relate to our goals as educators, but also how they relate to our students’ needs.

Before we begin looking at the individual pillars, the following are some important questions that should be addressed by teachers and school communities:

  1. What technology skills will our students need for success in the future?

  2. With so many new sites, apps and programs, constantly being created, how do we as educators handle a constantly changing, evolving, digital landscape? Where do we look first?

  3. When we started looking at the term “digital literacies”, we asked ourselves what do they mean? Why is literacies plural? How is digital literacy different from traditional concepts of literacy?

Too often literacy is as either being literate and illiterate. Polar opposites with nothing in between. A light switch. On or off. But really, we should view literacy as an evolving spectrum with a sliding position that goes back and forth depending on the situation.

As an adult, I am very proud of my ability to read. In most cases, I would consider myself to be at the far end of the literacy spectrum. Yet when I was planning my wedding, I had to pull a city permit to close off part of a street. When it came to reading the dense, bureaucratic legalise on the form, I struggled to comprehend what the words on the paper meant. So in that situation, I fell a bit closer to the illiterate end of the spectrum than I did previously. Both the situation and the context impacted where I fell on the literacy spectrum.

Literacy does not just extend to reading. A person could be literate when it comes to knowing how to do a task, or the ability to perform a skill, such as solving a difficult math problem or performing routine car maintenance. While I can change my car’s tires and oil (trend towards literate), I’m also not taking on any major engine rebuilds (trend towards illiterate) anytime soon. We start to see that depending on the context of each situation we may be slightly less literate in one scenario, and more literate in another. So as our environment, the topic and our skillsets change, so does where we fall on the spectrum of literacy.

Over the next year I look forward to sharing more about the 8 Pillars of Digital Literacies with you. I encourage you to share your questions, insights and experiences with me on Twitter @AOPTech

In preparation for this series, I encourage you to watch Doug Belshaw’s TED Talk, especially if you love memes. When you do, let me know what you thought of it. Check back next month, where we’ll talk more about the first pillar - Confidence.

Welcome our New Technology Integration Coach, Annabel Dotzman!

Annabel is an alumni of AoP schools, attending St. Francis Cabrini Elementary School and Conwell-Egan High School. She graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Telecommunications and entered the corporate workforce soon after, focusing on systems training and development.

Annabel returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Holy Family University. Her teaching career began in the Archdiocese in a first grade classroom at Our Lady of Fatima School in Bensalem, Bucks County and then went on to teach 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade at St. Ephrem School, also in Bensalem.

Annabel is married to husband Paul, also a graduate of Archdiocesan elementary and high schools, and recently celebrated 25th wedding anniversary! She is blessed with two amazing children: daughter Lyndsay is following in her proud mom’s footsteps and beginning her teaching career in an Archdiocesan elementary school this year and her son, Matthew, is beginning his second year at Temple University studying audio/video production. Annabel and her family have been active members of St. Jude Parish in Chalfont for over 20 years. Annabel is an avid reader, sometimes runner, and die-hard Phillies and Eagles fan!

From Annabel: "I am truly grateful and excited to be joining the AoP Technology Team! I look forward to working alongside the amazing educators and administrators within the Archdiocesan schools to help bring technology into the classrooms!"

Join us in welcoming Annabel to our team by following her on Twitter!

Google Keep Overview

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