T. Levy, K. Eini

Ruppin Academic center (ISRAEL)
In our pre-academic, college preparation course, in EAP (English for Academic Purposes), approximately one quarter of our students are of Ethiopian origin. These students often come from homes in which there are no computers and there is no computer literacy. We ensure that they gain access to both. In addition to teaching English language proficiency, we are committed to teaching our students digital skills, since they will need to develop their digital literacy as future professionals. Among the most effective digital materials we use is the 100 People Project. This project focuses on ten global issues, which will affect the lives of all global citizens in the future: food, water, transportation, energy, health, shelter, education, economy, waste, and war. "Having digital literacy requires more than just the ability to use software or to operate a digital device; it includes a large variety of complex skills such as cognitive, motoric, sociological, and emotional” (Eshet-Alkali & Amichai-Hamburger, 2004: 421) that are necessary for the effective use of digital environments. We have developed a semester-long teaching program based on these focal issues, and require students to choose one issue and present it. According to Warschauer (2007), digital technologies have an immense impact on learning and literacy.

Technology in general today is acknowledged as a key element to learners' autonomy and mobile devices are not less important in this respect. In this teaching arena students are encouraged to use digital personal devices (DDPs).

As Peacock writes, “…teachers now adapt…empowering students by giving them access to a wide range of web-based tools that allow them to publish work and engage with live audiences in real contexts.”

We have found that the focus on relevant global issues is extremely motivating. Our students gain proficiency in digital skills as well as the English language. The learning experience becomes more meaningful, as students are allowed to focus on their particular areas of interest and select their own reading materials in English.

In our presentation we will demonstrate the process students undergo. We will also show samples of students' projects and their reflections on the entire process.

[1] Eshet-Alkali, Y. & Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (2004). Experiments in Digital Literacy. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 7(4), 421-429.
[2] Peacock, M. (2013). Forward. In Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching (G. Motteram, Ed.). British Council, p. 2. Retrieved from:
[3] Warschauer, M. (2007). The paradoxical future of digital learning. Learning Inquiry, 1, 41-49.