Learning 12 Dec 2016

Digital Literacy at CIS

By Egmond Boon, Head of Digital Literacy and STEAM
Photograph by CIS Communications

What is digital literacy?

In the 21st century, literacy has evolved beyond its basic definition of knowing how to read and write. Everyone is required to know how to process, deliver and receive information in today’s highly digitalised world. It is inevitable then that the new definition of literacy includes components of digital literacy, which emphasises the ability to use digital technology, communication tools and networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.

According to the US Digital Literacy website, a digitally literate person can perform tasks in a digital environment, read and interpret media, reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.

Clearly, being digitally literate is more than sending a Whatsapp message or watching a music video on youtube. It is much more – if you are digitally literate, you possess the knowledge and skills needed to use a range of digital tools for a variety of purposes. You can: use technology strategically to find and evaluate information, connect and collaborate with others, produce and share original content, and use the internet and technology as tools to achieve academic, professional, and personal goals.

Digital Literacy at CIS

At CIS, we ensure our students learn how to: think critically and ethically as they harness technology in their learning; behave safely and appropriately online; identify what information is important online; and use technology as a tool to showcase their skills and talents. They learn to be strategic in their approach to the use of technology – as they connect and collaborate with others.

Digital literacy is taught through our One to World Programme, where we apply best practice models and standards adopted from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Common Sense Education, and the IB Programme. Parents can also visit the Digital Literacy page in My.CIS where they can find useful resources and tips to support their children’s digital life inside and outside CIS.

Digital Citizenship at CIS

Our dynamic and changing world requires new comprehension and communication skills, as well as evolving codes of conduct, to ensure that these powerful media and technologies are used responsibly and ethically. Much of the interaction in this digital world happens at a distance, making it difficult for children to understand the consequences of their actions, as much of their digital life takes place under the cloak of anonymity. We endeavour to highlight to our students that although it might seem easy to participate in unethical and even illegal behaviors online, it is not right.

Digital Citizenship means that children appreciate their responsibility for their content as well as their actions when using the Internet, mobile devices, and other digital media. All of us need to develop and practice safe, legal, and ethical behaviors in the digital media age.

The Canadian International School is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School,

and we have adopted their Scope & Sequence: K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. This comprehensive curriculum is designed to empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. From lesson plans, videos, student interactives, and assessments, to professional learning and family outreach materials, their turnkey curriculum provides schools with everything they need to take a whole-community approach to digital citizenship.