My experience of learning science has been mostly composed of lectures from the teachers and some labs that helped me understand and see how the theories in science actually made sense in the real world. Labs were not possible, and in-class activities were not an option when the teachers did not have appropriate materials. But with the advent of new technologies, our classrooms started to change. Teachers started to incorporate more and more digital technologies to facilitate students’ learning. Digital literacy, defined as the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and synthesize digital resources to construct new knowledge, has become a very crucial component as new technologies are developed.
During the TiUA program in Buffalo, my mentor teacher led an experiment using a computer software that simulated various experiments, which allowed students to perform the experiments and collect the data digitally. The teacher played videos that explained science concepts from a website, and students were able to watch them repeatedly until they understood the concept. Students were quizzing each other with a computer software on the periodic table. I was amazed at the potential and endless opportunities this could be used to facilitate the learning of science. I then started to wonder what are the benefits of incorporating digital literacy into a science classroom, and how it should be done to maximize students’ learning of science.
In my inquiry of utilizing digital literacy in a science classroom, these are some of the questions that I would like to research:
- What is digital literacy?
- How does digital literacy facilitate students’ learning of science?
- What are useful pedagogies that can be used by the teacher to teach digital literacy?
- How should a teacher utilize digital literacy in a secondary classroom?
As a future science educator who would be teaching the generation of “digital natives”, I hope this research would give great insights into how we can change our classrooms to best meet their needs.