IMPROVING DIGITAL LITERACY IN PRIMARY EDUCATION
University of Salerno (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Over the last few decades, digital literacy have been used repeatedly and have emerged as the core of the debate in educational matters. In the international guidelines, the concept of digital literacy have been connected to “what kinds of skills and knowing people should have in a knowledge society, what to teach young people and how to do so” (Ilomäki, Paavola and Lakkala, 2016, p. 655).
The objective of this study is to examine strategies for the development and improvement of digital literacy in primary education.
To this day, the integration of the communication and information technologies in the curriculum is still lacking, except maybe for media education. This raises several matters relating to school development, digital content, teachers' professional competences, access to technologies and the concept of learning.
There is a problem of a linguistic nature that concerns the use of “digital competence” instead of digital literacy although terms have different backgrounds and meanings. Indeed, digital competence implicates the “confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society” (European Commission, 2018, p. 9); digital literacy refer to cognitive skills and competences from a functional perspective aided by practices and work. The conceptual development of literacy in connection with information and communication technologies dates back to the late 1970s and 1980s of the last century, thanks to New Literacy Studies. As expected, the concept of digital literacy was extended to take account of social influences and school demand in knowledge society.
In the field of Educational Technology, constructivist and socio-cultural theories of teaching and learning have been significant in defining learning as a collaborative and socially situated process. Starting from these theories, different authors have begun to conceive technological artefacts as cognitive tools acts to favour more personalized and active forms of learning, in particular through the generation and verification of hypotheses with problem solving activities mediated by technology. As mentioned, the use of digital technologies cannot be casual or spontaneous for everyone, especially for children.
For this reason, it is important to dwell on teaching strategies that can favour the development of digital literacy in student of primary education.
This paper starts revising new theories of teaching and learning, in order to emphasize an active role of the students in improving their digital literacy and through exploratory research approach wants to identify teaching practices that can favour the development of digital literacy in primary school. University students of Single Cycle Degree in Primary Teacher education were involved in this study: data was obtained from semi-structured interview and interpreted by hermeneutic analysis of texts. Results show that future teachers of Primary Education intend to invest in the development of digital literacy in connection with information and communication technologies, favouring an active approach to learning.
According to the findings of the study, these authors we will summarize and discuss the proposed considerations by the specialist literature to offer some food for thought for educational reflection about the use information and communication technologies in primary education.
Keywords: Digital Literacy, Primary Education, Teaching Strategies, ICT, Practices.