Thursday, 7 June 2012

Outcomes and Standards

After a few weeks of researching articles, resources and lesson plans centred around digital citizenship, I have realized that it has been much easier to find international resources and standards than local ones.  Digging a little deeper and speaking with some colleagues, I was able to find a Canadian site that has many valuable resources. As part of this investigation, I asked 10 teachers on staff at my school and only one of them told me where they sought out resources and information pertaining to digital citizenship.  Media Smarts: Canada's Center for Digital and Media Literacy is the one that was recommended to me.

Media Smarts is a Canadian resource that centers many resources for educators about using media and teaching students about media use.  There are games, information, lesson plans, research and connections to various policies.

Specifically, I spent some time searching for local standards and this site provides access to Media and Literacy Outcomes by Province and Territory. I learned that digital and media literacy outcomes in Saskatchewan are specifically tied to the English Language Arts Curriculum.  As part of the English Language Arts: Aims and Goals, it is said that the goal "for Grades K-12 is to graduate a literate person who is competent and confident in using language for both functional and aesthetic purposes".  More specifically, I found a general description a media literacy.  The following is cited from the Saskatchewan section of Media Smarts.
              "Grades K-5: Media Literacy in English Language Arts
               Media is a powerful tool for improving and expanding language learning in the classroom.  At          
               the elementary level, students experience and use media to share and enjoy stories, information
               and ideas.  Students have opportunities to explore various ways of preparing, preserving,
               displaying and presenting meaning to others.  Classroom experiences enable students to
               interpret, critique and evaluate the purpose and effectiveness of various media."  

It is not enough to identify media literacy solely in one subject area.  Upon further research, I did find that 'Technological Literacy' is listed as a tab in the general reference section of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education website.  There are 5 websites listed that range from journals to checkpoints as well as links to ISTE and NETS.

I wonder if the multiple terms to describe this topic hinders people's abilities to access a variety of resources? This makes me think that if resources or guidelines are hard to find, they probably are not used as frequently as one may hope.

*** I would love to know where other educators as well as parents go to find resources about medial literacy, technological literacy or digital citizenship.


  1. Ahhh. I accidentally blew away my previous comment and only have a few minutes before our Kitchen Party, so I'll make this quick. You went to the right place with Media Smarts (Formerly the Media Awareness Network). Great site for loads of useful material. Here's a link to a wiki that my friend Alec Couros has on media literacy, and one on digital citizenship. I don't know if he is still maintaining the site, so some of the links might be broken. But it's still a really good collection of stuff.

  2. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Education is in the process of developing a Digital Fluency Framework which will provide insight for educators into all things digital education. I serve on the committee and to date have seen the framework in a draft form. It will be similar to the ISTE Nets but will have a broader reach and be "made in Saskatchewan". The hope is that more resources will follow to support digital fluency and citizenship in Saskatchewan classrooms.

    1. Thank you for sharing that information! I think that educators in the province will be happy to have a framework to guide their own learning as well as teaching.