What is a digital world?

 Written Summation: Week 1 topic, What is a digital world?

A digital world is a new sense of place, virtually connecting people with other people and places all over the world through the use of digital technology. The digital world includes the tools we use to access it and the world we connect to. Technology has become a pervasive force, with most aspects of our lives undergoing a ‘technologising’ in recent years (Howell, 2012; Thomson, 2015).

The non-schooling parts of student’s lives are rich in digital technologies (Howell, 2012; Thomson, 2015). The current generation has been labeled as ‘digital natives’ as they are fluent in their lives outside of school, whereas, teachers have been labeled as ‘digital immigrants,’ who range on a continuum of abilities, most being self or peer-taught (Howell, 2012). As a teacher, we need to change and adapt, by opening ourselves up and embracing the digital world (Howell, 2012).

Created using wordle

Technology has been seen as transformative, transforming how students learn and how we teach (Howell, 2012). Classrooms in Australia have undergone a dramatic change and teachers have needed to equip themselves with the skills to teach in a digital age (Howell, 2012). Technology is viewed as a tool to assist both teachers and students, furthering the shift towards more independent, student-led inquiry modes of learning, with teachers taking on the role of a co-collaborator (Howell, 2012). A 21st-century digital learner is flexible, self-paced, self-motivated and willing to participate with their peers (Howell, 2012; Prensky, 2008).

The need for digital pedagogy is strong, because of the impact digital technologies have on student engagement and motivation, the focus of educational outcomes being on equipping students with the skills to ensure that they become life-long learners (ACARA, 2016), and schools bridging the gap between those who can access digital technologies and those who cannot (Howell, 2012; Bentley, 2014). Although the need for a digital pedagogy is clear, unfortunately, educators are faced with the constant challenge of refining teaching and learning techniques to keep up with the increasing demands and expectations of students (Howell, 2012). In an already crowded curriculum, teachers need to equip themselves and students with the skills to use these technologies, whilst also addressing the digital divide (Howell, 2012; Prensky, 2008; Bentley, 2014).   

Words: 328

Further viewing & reading: 

The 21st Century Digital Learner by Marc Prensky

ABC news article – The Digital Divide in Australia


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2016). Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Bentley, P. (2014). Lack of affordable broadband creating ‘digital divide’. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Kubacka, K. (2015). Teachers in the digital world. Retrieved from http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/teachers-in-digital-world.html

Negroponte, N. (2007). One laptop per child, two years on. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child_two_years_on

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-centruy digital learner. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

Thomson, S. (2015). Australian students in a digital world. Policy insights, 3. Melbourne: ACER. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/policyinsights/3/

Thomas, M. (2015). Old school in the new digital world. [Image]. Retrieved from https://wordpress.com/post/teachingandlearninginthedigitalworld611.wordpress.com/27


Digital Convergence

 Audio Summation: Week 3 topic, Digital convergence

Follow the link to the PowToon animation which focusses on the Week 3 topic of digital convergence and transmedia learning.


URL: https://www.powtoon.com/c/c2lPaNeZcRg/1/m

Following is the script to my animation.

Digital convergence refers to the different ways of using technologies, converging into one site (Howell, 2015). It allows us to view the same multimedia content from different types of devices as a result of the digitisation of content (movies, pictures, music, voice, text) and the development of connection methods (Kioskea.net, 2016).

Transmedia learning harnesses the convergence of many different types of digital technologies for teaching and learning (Howell, 2014). Transmedia refers to a set of media elements that are spread across multiple platforms (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013; Raybourn, 2014). It makes sense in the context of convergence, offering content that can be extended and multiplied across a range of cultural experiences, being a tool for expanding learning (Howell, 2014; Johnson, n.d.).

Within the classroom, students are able to engage with transmedia learning and transmedia play (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). These experiences emotionally connect learners to the task by involving them personally, whilst providing a platform for students to experiment with, express their thoughts and participate in media (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). Transmedia learning is valuable as it considers the user’s lifestyle, media habits and context, as the students co-create (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). Transmedia learning and play requires learners to find, assemble and reassemble information across knowledge communities, whilst creatively and collaboratively reworking media content (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013).

Transmedia relies on children’s abilities to decode, remix, create, and circulate many kinds of media content, across contexts including school and home environments (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). Therefore, educators look into media as a site for meaningful opportunities and as a resource for learning in various contexts (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). It is important for teachers to teach these skills and provide the opportunity for students to develop them. Through student engagement with transmedia and the development of these skills, students will become digitally fluent as they are encouraged to draw upon multiple literacies, including digital, textual, visual and media literacies, whilst developing social skills and cultural competence (Alper, & Herr-Stephenson, 2013).

It is also important to consider the risks involved with incorporating these practices into the classroom. Through transmedia, we can be mislead, isolated, and become addicted (Gomez, 2010). Therefore, we need to teach students to question reality and to make connections with others (Gomez, 2010).

Words: 327

Also, view the following presentation:

Further reading: 

Online essay: Spreadable Media

A journal article: Transmedia Play: Literacy Across Media by Meryl Alper and Rebecca Herr-Stephenson


Alper, M., & Herr-Stephenson, R. (2013). Transmedia play: Literacy across media. Journal of media literacy education vol 5(2) p. 366-369. Retrieved from https://lms.curtin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-4150736-dt-content-rid-

Classroom Aid. (2013). What’s transmedia learning? Retrieved from http://classroom-aid.com/2013/06/16/whats-transmedia-learning/

Gomez, J. (2010). TEDx Transmedia – Jeff Gomez – DAREtoCHANGE. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9SlVedmnw4

Henderson, B. (2013). Digital convergence. [Image] Retrieved from https://www.colligo.com/blog/mobile/how-is-digital-convergence-erasing-boundaries-in-business/

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Howell, J. (2014). Transmedia learning. Retrieved from https://storify.com/jehowell/transmedia-learning

Howell, J. (2015). Topic 3 lecture. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/21d732cf-a586-4365-b346-1c4cdedf4360

Johnson, D. (n.d.). A history of transmedia entertainment. Retrieved from http://spreadablemedia.org/essays/johnson/#.WAwAZOB96M-23553216_1/courses/EDUC1015-DVCEducatio-1523412189/Transmedia%20Play_%20Literacy%20Across%20Media.pdf

Kioskea.net. (2016). What is digital convergence? Retrieved from http://ccm.net/faq/27026-what-is-digital-convergence

Raybourn, E. (2014). A new paradigm for serious games: Transmedia learning for more effective training and education. Journal of computational science vol 5(3) p. 471-481. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocs.2013.08.005

Digital Fluency

Visual Summation: Week 6 topic: Digital fluency

Explore the Week 6 topic of ‘digital fluency’ through the Sway that is included below.


URL: https://sway.com/s/euzzLOihkj0h3tvk/embed


Further reading: 

Pinterest board: Kevin Makice’s board on digital fluency

Newspaper article: The Guardian “Getting young people fluent in digital”


References included in the Sway document.  

Final Reflection


The digital world is changing constantly and it is often difficult to keep up to date with its full impact on education and schooling (Howell, 2012). Educators are faced with constant challenge of refining teaching and learning techniques (Howell, 2012). Despite these complexities, the need for a digital pedagogy is clear, as it enhances student engagement and motivation, and educational outcomes become focussed on equipping students with the skills to ensure that they become life-long learners (Howell, 2012). Through the creation of my summations using WordPress, Sway and PowToon, I have come to understand the potential impact of digital technologies on teaching, including skill development, creativity in the classroom and catering to different learning styles.

Blogging, previously had seemed to be something done purely for interest and entertainment. However, I have come to see the opportunities this platform offers, by incorporating multiple literacies, through text, audio and visual elements (Davis & McGrail, 2009; Huffaker, 2004). It has been shown that educational blogging provides authentic learning, creative outlets and improves social skills, literacy, and ICT skills (Morris, 2013). The use of blog programs aid in the development of students ‘digital fluency.’  Blogs offer a place that can be both individualistic and collaborative, that allows self-expression and engagement in digital communities (Huffaker, 2004; Morris, 2013).

Through the inclusion of auditory and visual technologies, such as Sway and PowToon, I have discovered platforms that offer formats suited to the individual learning needs of different students and developed skills to cater to these needs. Visual learners prefer when “ideas, thoughts, concepts, processes and other information are represented and associated with images, graphs, charts and videos,” while “recordings, tapes, video tutorials and many others come under the tools for auditory learning” (Bhaskar, 2013, p. 1). These creatively engaging tools encourage students to use their own skills to present the information they have found (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015).

Through my engagement with these technologies, I became familiar with a range of skills. The skills these technologies develop allow students to share ideas, become creators, and join global conversations, which support theories of constructivism, constructionism and connectivism (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015). The focus of teachers should be on finding creative ways to inspire students to become engaged learners, particularly by using technology in play (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015; Bennett & Lockyer, 1999; Butler-Kisber, 2013; EF Explore America, 2012).


Words: 318


Authur, E. (2013). Digital education revolution – didi it work? [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2013/05/digital-education-revolution-did-it-work/

Bennett, S., & Lockyer, L. (1999). The impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning in K-12 education. University of Wollongong: Wollongong. Retrieved from http://www.ndlrn.edu.au/verve/_resources/impact_digital_technologies_k-12pdf.pdf

Bhaskar, S. K. (2013) Technology is helping students to adopt their own learning style. Ed Tech Review. Retrieved fromhttp://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/465-technology-helps-students-to-adopt-their-learning-style?limit=1&start=1

Butler-Kisber, L. (2013). Teaching and learning in the digital world: Possibilities and challenges. Learning landscapes Vol 6(2). Canada. ISSN 1913-5688

Davis, A. P., & McGrail, E. (2009). The joy of blogging. Literacy 2.0, 66 (6), 74-77. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar09/vol66/num06/The-Joy-of-Blogging.aspx

EF Explore America. (2012). What is 21st century education? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax5cNlutAys&feature=youtu.be

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Huffaker, D. (2004). The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. First Monday, 9(6). doi:10.5210/fm.v9i6.1156

Killoran, T. (2015). Tosca Killoran on how to empower kids with awesome technology. Piktochart Infographics. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from https://piktochart.com/blog/tosca-killoran-empowering-kids-with-awesome-technology/

Morris, K. (2013). The benefits of educational blogging. Retrieved from http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/03/08/the-benefits-of-educational-blogging/

Ornelas, L. (n.d.). 21st century teacher. [Image]. Retrieved from https://au.pinterest.com/lourdesornelas/21st-century-teacher/