Multimedia is often referred to as digital literacy. Crucially, it is essential for successful participation within a society connected by the World Wide Web. It is the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge and create media. Below is some guidance from webroot.com about the implications and goals of digital literacy.
Many of us grew up doing research that required going to a library, writing down call numbers, finding books, and then taking notes on the needed information. Now, many children can complete their homework research conducted on a phone or tablet and most can access information through the internet or download entire articles to their laptops for later reading.
This amazing access doesn’t just apply to academic information, the internet allows incredible access and sharing of music, photos, videos, and all kinds of art. With this amazing access, comes the necessity for ethical and critical information interaction–a skill as important as learning to read and write.
What are the goals of digital literacy?
- Find-Help young people learn where and how to find reliable sources. This includes search engines for research, but also legal platforms for downloading music and art.
- Sort–Help young people learn how to identify relevant information for their project or research.
- Evaluate– Help young people learn how to determine the value of a source. This includes: credibility, reliability, authority (of the author, publisher, organization, study, or media).
- Manage– Help children know and understand how to use information. For example, how to properly cite a source, how to apply copyright or creative commons laws, or how to safely and legally download media files (including music).
- Create– Help children know how to create their own work without plagiarizing or infringing on the copyright of other works.
Most children would never dream of stealing a CD, but many do not understand the copyright violation involved in downloading music files from a friend’s iPod. Plagiarism takes on a whole new danger, when copying information word for word is as easy as clicking a button. Young people who do not understand how to engage ethically with media may unintentionally violate laws. However, if parents keep current, keep communicating, and keep checking, they can help their children learn how to critically and ethically interact with this information–an essential skill for successful citizenship which will ultimately help them both professionally and academically.
Click here to download an article from The Telegraph about digital literacy in the classroom or click here to read some research. Below are the names of some of the apps used in school to support this strand of our computing curriculum.
A free tool for PC / Mac / Linux users which is a traditional 2D drawing / animation program . It can be downloaded to create animations.
A downloadable program for creating online animations, but it requires membership.
Create animated stories online with this resource
This is a search engine that is highly filtered and ensures that the content of search results is fully secure.
A child friendly search engine from google
Quintura for Kids is powered by Yahoo. It gives a more visual way of searching using a keyword cloud. You start off your search with a keyword in the text box and then modify it with any of the keywords in the cloud. Quintura displays five results per page. You may miss it, but clicking on the surrounding icons takes you to the five preset search categories ““ Music, History, Animals, Sports and recreation, and Games.
KidRex is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing (the dinosaur stands guard). It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible. KidRex also has its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords which further help to keep the results clean.
Ask Kids is a search engine for kids from Ask.com’s pool of web resources. The search page resembles a school note book. Apart from the search box, five preset search categories – Schoolhouse, Movies, Games, Videos and Images, help out the kiddies research all kinds of stuff. Kids can jump from the search results to images, narrow or expand the search, find related names and other information. It borrows the features from Ask.com and its regular search, but keeps it simple for kids.
- Yahoo Kids
Yahoo Kids is the doorway to Yahoo’s directory of websites and URLs exclusively for kids. The homepage is colorful, engaging, and full of cool stuff to keep your child engaged. So much so, that it’s quite easy to miss out the search box at the top corner. Search results are collated under three sections – Results in Yahoo! Kids, Results in the Yahoo! Kids Directory, and Results on the Web.