The tragic thing is that this differentiation, this inequity is expanding at a period when the technology actually allows much broader access. There is nothing from a resourcing point of view that is keeping kids from accessing these opportunities online. We have interactive whiteboards in each classroom which are being replaced by interactive flat panels, a VLE, online digital resources, floor robots, robotic kits, 3d printers, and we just rolled out more than 6000 tablets to all Year 4 students and their educators. Although I know of many teachers who have taken up the challenge I constantly ask myself how many more still need to understand that digital literacy is a student’s entitlement? If we are failing in Malta, it is a failure of will rather than resources. AND we will only have ourselves to blame if we do not take hold of this opportunity.
We believe that the most meaningful and resilient forms of learning happen when a learner has a personal interest or passion that they are pursuing in a context of cultural affinity, social support, and shared purpose, which is at the heart of Connected Learning.
This is one of the principles that guides what we are doing in digital literacy in Malta.
So what are we doing? In 2015 we published a document to make our educators aware of what we mean by Digital Literacy. The document gives an overview of different definitions of Digital Literacy which depend on the audience they are intended for and the background of the authors who propose them. While each of these definitions is valued and weaved into a comprehensive view of a 21st century learner, the required fundamental competences emerge and are highlighted in this document. With this document in the background we are focusing on pedagogy and placing great emphasis on 7Cs: collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, digital citizenship, coding and character education. This document highlights our mission:
to help educators make the shift from traditional teaching to a 21st century learning environment where digital literacy is a learner’s entitlement.
we are supporting and guiding each teacher to make that shift. We have committed ourselves to show progressively what this environment looks like and
how 21st century competences can be achieved. Our ultimate aim is that every educator and their learners become digital citizens.