By Kristin Van Gompel, Senior Curriculum Specialist at Turnitin
Digital literacy skills focus on preparing students to succeed in the global, competitive and connected world in which we live. Although technology is a common discussion thread amongst 21st-century conversation, simply adding it to the classroom does not always achieve the highest possible outcomes. Digital literacy harnesses technology to teach a process for validating information that students can use in all parts of their digital lives. Now is the time to drive digital literacy in the classroom.
To truly equip students with the necessary skills for our current and future worlds, it is important to consider how technology is applied. How can technology be implemented to facilitate meaningful learning activities? How can the use of technology in classrooms be shifted from knowledge consumption to knowledge production? How can technology be used effectively in classrooms to mediate learning?
Turnitin carefully considers the effective use of technology in learning while developing and improving on our products and supporting resources. Our suite of products, such as Feedback Studio, can help students practise digital literacy skills and exercise higher-level thinking by applying technology in meaningful ways. Here are a few examples highlighting how Turnitin’s Feedback Studio supports 21st-century learning:
Information and media literacy
Feedback Studio’s Similarity Report presents students and their teachers with a description of similar or matched texts found within a submitted assignment. When engaging with this report (and having an opportunity to revise and resubmit), students practise making judgements on the information and media that they have included in their assignments.
In an age where there is an abundance of information, this report can teach students the value of academic integrity. The Similarity Report is designed to encourage students to effectively incorporate legitimate information and media into their writing through proper attribution. By using techniques that aim to prevent plagiarism in future assignments, this helps institutions meet regulatory and awarding body requirements to support ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted status.
Locating, retrieving and evaluating credible sources are skills pertinent to developing digital literacy skills. Turnitin provides a comprehensive Source Credibility Guide as an instructional resource for introducing this essential topic in the classroom. By assessing source credibility, students are encouraged to evaluate the quality of a piece of information, which involves considering the origin of a source, as well as who created it and why, before introducing it to an assignment. Valuable resources are readily available on the Turnitin website to help students produce high-quality research and original writing.
Life and career skills
Collaborative working, critical thinking and clear communication are widely recognised as essential life skills. Today’s educators are in a position to help their students grow to become critical thinkers who can evaluate sources, formulate their own ideas and, ultimately, express these ideas with confidence.
Turnitin’s peer review assignment tool, available in Feedback Studio, gives students the opportunity to engage in collaborative learning through a process of giving and receiving feedback on each other’s assignments. PeerMark™ also helps students to develop their independent learning and self-evaluation skills through its self-review option.
With the vast amount of available information, it is important for students to understand and take ownership of their ethical responsibilities as a writer by using credible sources, and citing sources correctly. By instilling lifelong skills for success in the 21st-century classroom, educators are able to support students to become independent thinkers and original writers who are prepared for the 21st-century workplace.
Feedback Studio offers opportunities for students to engage with digital tools, teachers and peers to mediate learning. Participating in meaningful activities, such as evaluating and choosing how to apply feedback via digital experiences, presents opportunities for students to foster critical thinking skills. Feedback Studio aims to encourage creative, authentic and confident writers, whilst allowing students to take ownership of their learning.
To learn more about strengthening digital literacy skills in the 21st-century classroom, visit https://go.turnitin.com/21st-century