DIGITAL LITERACY

Skills Every Student Needs

In today’s society, it is critical for students to be able to use the vast amount of technology available to them. Digital literacy will provide students with skills they need to succeed in the technological age. It is Catholic High’s goal to build students’ digital literacy by authentically incorporating technology into instruction at every grade level.

Digital Literacy

The definition of literacy has evolved in the 21st century. The basic definition of literacy means to be able to read and write. To be successful in today’s digital world, literacy goes far beyond being able to read and write. What it means to be digitally literate has reflected the change in how information is processed, delivered, and received in today’s highly connected world. The University Library of The University of Illinois defines digital literacy as:

The ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.¹
The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. ²
A person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment… Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments. ³

Categories

The Louisiana Department of Education defines eight categories of digital literacy.

Basic Computer Operations

Skills in this category include terminology, navigation, file management, keyboarding, and basic troubleshooting strategies.

Presentation and Multimedia Tools

Use painting, drawing, and photo editing tools to create and edit presentations for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Word Processing

Skills include using a word processing application to write, edit, format, save, and print documents.

Research and Information Gathering

Use a variety of technologies to locate, collect, and organize content from media collection activities for specific purposes, citing sources.

Spreadsheet (Tables, Charts, and Graphs)

Skills include using a spreadsheet program as a tool to record, organize, graph, and analyze information.  Use functions, formatting, and formulas within spreadsheet programs.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, Plagiarism, and Online Safety

Explain and demonstrate compliance with the Responsible Use Policy (RUP) regarding responsible use of computers and networks. Explain Fair Use guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials (e.g. text, images, audio, and video in student projects) and giving credit to media creators.

Mathematical Applications

Draw two and three dimensional shapes using a variety of technology tools. Explain and demonstrate how specialized technology tools can be used for problem solving, decision making, and creativity.

Communication and Collaboration

Work collaboratively online with other students under teacher supervision using a variety of age-appropriate technologies (e.g., drawing program or presentation software) to communicate and exchange ideas using text and various forms of graphics, audio, and video.

Achieving Digital Literacy

Digital literacy learning goals are approached through a variety of means throughout all grade levels. The school has interactive presentation systems in all classrooms, making delivery of content a breeze. However, building students’ digital literacy requires them to be responsible content creators, not just consumers.

Chromebook Program

Being a G Suite for Education school made selecting Chromebooks as student devices a clear choice for grades four through eight. The school currently utilizes Chromebooks in carts for elementary and middle school students. Their phenomenal battery life, portability, speed, and functionality make them perfect learning tools for students.  Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, freshmen will kickoff our 1:1 program.  The Student Chromebook Policy is available here.  The school utilizes GoGuardian for filtering and monitoring student accounts and devices.  Their privacy policies can be found here.

BYOD Program

Catholic High allows students in grades 10-12 to participate in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program. Students are allowed to bring devices with wi-fi capability (those with cellular capabilities must have that function disabled) for use in classroom learning activities. Full details are described within the Handbook in our Responsible Use Policy (RUP) on page 50.

Computer Labs

Catholic High currently has three computer labs: one in Carmel Hall, one in the Library, and one in the Multimedia Studio. Two are Windows-based, and the Multimedia Lab is Mac-based.  The latter is home to Digital Arts and Publications classes.

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