Digital Visions: Developing 21st century skills and competencies with the Digital Media Academy
Starcevic, Matthew David
Master of Education
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This thesis proposes the need for a comprehensive digital literacy program in Ontario schools. A K-12 digital literacy program is essential so that students can grow up with a set of 21st century skills and competencies that prepare them for life in an increasingly complex and digital world. The lack of unified digital literacy instruction in Ontario schools has led to an investigation of a US based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) academy called the Digital Media Academy. The Digital Media Academy offers programs for students, teachers, and adult learners in range of digital media disciplines. A qualitative study was designed to extract insights from the Digital Media Academy to establish a digital literacy framework worthy of the Ontario classroom. An ethnographic study was performed and eight interviews were conducted with eight curriculum staff from the Digital Media Academy. The results formed the basis of a comprehensive digital literacy program synthesized through the critical lens of an Ontario educator. The Ontario classroom would benefit from a digital literacy program that encompasses a creation-based learning platform that is intertwined with a human-centred design approach and teaches students to adopt a growth mindset, tell digital stories, learn to code, and make use of relatively inexpensive technologies.
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