Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum Handbook

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]Digital Literacy across the Curriculum (pdf), from FutureLab, UK, is a 63-page handbook aimed at educational practitioners and school leaders in both primary and secondary schools who are interested in creative and critical uses of technology in the classroom. The handbook is supported by case studies (pdf) of digital literacy in practice and video case studies.

The handbook aims to introduce educational practitioners to the concepts and contexts of digital literacy and to support them in developing their own practice aimed at fostering the components of digital literacy in classroom subject teaching and in real school settings.”

The download page also includes links to case studies and video case studies.

The site includes a number of other handbooks including: Learning with handheld technologies and Designing technologies to support creativity and collaboration

found via Stephen’s Lighthouse

Digital Literacy is More Than Having the Knowledge of How to Use a Computer

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]This short video  clip is from a public forum hosted by The United Negro College Fund and the MacArthur Foundation on digital media and learning in multicultural contexts in March at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.

“Digital literacy is more than having the knowledge of how to use a computer, what your software program does, what function or understanding how the hardware of your computer works. Digital literacy is also about using that knowledge to actually facilitate the learning process.” –  Clarissa Myrick-Harris, director of the UNCF’s Curriculum and Faculty Enhancement Program.

“Any narrative that you tell, whether it’s you texting a friend, whether it’s you creating a social media environment, a Google map or a Facebook page or whatever, all of that depends on an effective use of language,“ –  J. Michael Hart, assistant professor of English and communications at Huston-Tillotson.

From the first forum To Be Young Digital and Black

“The access gap hasn’t been solved entirely, but a significant portion of it has been addressed,” Watkins said in an interview. “It’s not about those without technology, but increasingly what scholars like Henry Jenkins and others call the ‘participation gap.’”

“This is not necessarily one that people saw coming,” Watkins said. “Young blacks and Latinos are migrating decisively towards mobile media, using the phone as their main access point or gateway to the Internet.”

“There is always this impression that black and Latino youth, particularly those who live in deprivation and attend less-high performing schools, have a lag in their use of technology and their engagement with it,” Watkins says. “But, in some ways, they are even more assertive in their desire to be part of the tech world. Young African Americans are the early adopters of the mobile web.”

Visit Spotlight ( for more interviews from the forum.

Clive Thompson on the Language of Data

You’re Never Too Old for Transliteracy: Virginia and Her iPad

CNET puts the spotlight on how the iPad is more than just “shiny” with this story of Virginia Campbell, a 99 year old woman in Lake Oswego, Oregon, who is using her iPad to once again enjoy reading and share her poetry.    Ms. Campbell, who suffers glaucoma that impacts her vision, is once again able to interact with the written word and to compose her own verses.

While this story does not involve a library, it speaks to the possibilities of how circulating devices like an iPad can transform the lives and literacy practices of our elderly patrons, particularly those who cannot afford these devices. What if libraries even offered “home delivery” to patrons who are shut in and may not physically be able to come to the library to check out an iPad?

You can read more about Virginia’s story here and see the video below:

Breaking Down Barriers in Communication

CC image used courtesy of BookMama

[tweetmeme source=”Strng_Dichotomy” only_single=false]When sharing or communicating information most of us take for granted how easy it is to see the content, hear the audio, or tell another person what we have learned. Most of us never give a second thought to how this simple act might affect people with disabilities trying to disseminate information or share content. Thankfully with advances in technology these limitations no longer pose the hurdles and roadblocks they once did.

Libraries have always been early adapters for this portion of the community to provide access for people with different abilities through assistive technology and staff interaction. The very basic and beginning services such as having a staff member who can communicate through ASL, Braille collections, Braille transcription services, special playback equipment for use with recorded cassettes, books and magazines on recorded cassettes, Audiobooks, descriptive videos (DVS) Large Print materials, Mail-A-Book programs, and request lists for library customers that are accepted by mail, phone, fax, and e-mail. for the homebound are great examples of this.

Technology has started to add to these existing services in ways that we could have only dreamed of 20 or even 2 years ago. Now we have screen readers like JAWS (Job Access With Speech) and the speech function on Gale (listen to an example). Efforts are being taken to create more services like Access Keys for the Omeka archives, creating screencasts, adding closed captioning to videos on Youtube and Vimeo, the use of image services like Flickr and Picasa, and even more innovative devices like the EyeWriter initiative.

Take the time to learn the resources that your library offers this portion of the community and expand upon them. Remember that is our duty to connect people with information and help them convey what they have learned no matter the medium.

%d bloggers like this: