Digital literacy supports this process of young people becoming active meaning-makers.Rather than preventing young people from engaging creatively with technology, a focus on digital literacy in the classroom can help them to expand and extend their use of technology for creativity and self-expression and to develop a greater understanding of the complexities of what they’re doing.

Discussion starters: questions, videos, quotes, and articles 

Students Today
  • What it means to be a child is socially and culturally contingent. It varies in time and place.
  • What are your shared assumptions about children these days?
  • What are the most important influences on the children of today (e.g., media, family)?
  • What are the implications for you as a subject/year group teacher?
  • How should schools respond to those influences constructively and positively for children?
  • How might this affect the ways you teach?


Contemporary Society
  • Discuss/think about the current economic, cultural, political and social influences on schools.
  • What’s happening in society that’s causing schools to change?
  • What reforms are there? Where are they coming from? What’s driving them?
  • What messages are being given to schools, and do they contradict each other?
  • How can/should/must schools respond to external influences?
  • Writing digitally is  transforming from the paper to the screen. Schools are going to have to move past whatever barriers exist and closer to the literacy practices increasingly used in the "outside world." No matter where you may be on the continuum of believing  in or disbelieving the construct of "childhood," there can be no doubt that communicating in the new century  - not necessarily is better or worse but different- and that it is going to involve some form of social networking."

  • The constant tension between going where the kids need to go and the need to stay within  a proscribed curriculum is a real-world constraint.
  • What type of learner are you? What role does technology impact on your life? What texts, music, poetry, films, fashion, architecture, etc... influenced you?

How I learned to love Twitter - Margaret Atwood

"So what's it all about, this Twitter? Is it signaling like telegraph? Is it Zen poetry? Is it jokes scribbled on the washroom wall?  Is it John's Hearts Mary carved on a tree? Let's just say it's communication, and communication is something humans like to do." Full text

Select a video for discussion
The Writer's Workshop Videos is a playlist of twenty-two TED-Ed lessons. The The Writer's Workshop contains lessons on basic topics like how to use punctuation and videos on more complex topics like how to make your writing humorous, how to build a fictional world, What is verbal irony, become a slam poet in 5 steps and more 
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