Didactical Tool: Digitalisation

Authors: Danijela Birt, Jadranka Brkić-Vejmelka, Ines Cvitković Kalanjoš
Tags: Digital Divide Digital Cultures Digital Gender Gap Digital Transformation Digital Queer Gap Digital Age Gap

Digitalisation is a process that includes the transfer of various contents such as text, photos, sound, and video into a digital record. This is precisely why digitalisation is considered a way of protecting, archiving, and sharing created content. It is important to point out that digitalisation should also encompass the creation of inclusive environments in which everybody can be involved, it enables open communication, and has accelerated the process of creating and exchanging knowledge (Martinoli, 2019).

What is it about?

The digitalisation process strongly affects education at all levels. It enhances the creation process of new teaching materials that are used in classes which take place live, online, or hybrid. The students’ motivation is a challenge in any time and context. We consider digital tools and apps helpful in this sense, and we tried to consider different aspects of “going digital” in the context of education. The need for digital materials and digitization of education was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. This accelerated the processes that started earlier, but at this moment attention is placed on those members of the community who were not able to participate equally or use all benefits that digitisation has to offer.

Try it out

Example 1:
Before you read the extended version of the concept digitalisation, you can make a concept map together with your students. This will help you to familiarise yourself with the alternative visions and ideas about the concept “digitalisation” that you and your students might have. The idea behind making a concept map is that you don’t describe the meaning of the concept to students, but rather get an understanding of each student’s perception. After you prepare the concept map, you can read the extended version of the concept on digitclue.net and compare together, the definitions and ideas you had prior to reading the written concept.
A concept map helps in the process of building knowledge. The students will have to think about what they already know, how they understand the meaning of digitalising, and maybe become aware of any lack of knowledge or words to explain it, showing that sometimes we take the process of digitalisation for granted and don’t understand it at its core. The concept map can help you connect different data and information you have about the concept. Additionally, you can continue building on it, combining existing knowledge and new information you come up with. We recommend the Popplet Concept Maps, but you can use the ones you are best familiar with (Mural, Power Point, Coggle, Mindmeister or any other tool for mindmaps available online, etc.).

Example 2: Digital courses in education
Ask students if and why they have taken an online course. Let them list which and what was most useful to them. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of teaching. Try to find online courses on different platforms (Coursera) and direct students to register. Divide them into groups, where each group chooses a different course on the topic of digitization and how it affects education. Attending different courses is necessary in order to later compare the differences and similarities of the performance and teaching of the chosen topic. Students can take notes while taking courses to share together within the group. It is important to record your reflections on digitization and its effects on education at the very beginning of attendance, but also as the course progresses. After completing the course, you discuss the notes together and reflect on the future of education. After the discussions, it is recommended to make a digital poster about online courses, their advantages and disadvantages, using the Canva tool (Canva, Piktochart)

Example 3:
Start a discussion with students about the positive and negative effects of digitization on their health. Once they’ve written down their thoughts, you can share them through the Mentimeter digital tool and talk about it.
The next step can be a collaborative creation of a social game with the theme “How does digitization affect your health?”. For this purpose, you can use the DeckToys (https://deck.toys/) digital tool when creating the game, you go through all the steps together, from choosing the background, the track, or the idea for the questions or obstacles that you will design, that the player must solve in order to move on the board. Students have to design puzzles or tasks for the players that will answer the basic question of the game. After designing the game, you can share and develop the idea with students from other classes.

Example 4:
Discuss with the students how they search and download materials from the Internet when creating their presentations or posters. For example, when they make a poster or presentation, do they download photos or some other materials without considering the copyrights? Are these materials allowed for download, or is there an indication under what conditions the use of these materials is allowed. Explore together what the Creative Commons license is.
Consider the questions together:

  • Are we allowed to download just about everything on the Internet?
  • How can copyright be protected in the digital environment?

Tell your colleagues

The examples you create working with your students can be shared in any case with colleagues in your collective, but we would like to suggest that you share it via the Digital Inclusion Map on the Website of DigitClue. The D.I. Map is a map of the world, you can enter your own projects, materials, ideas, and leave comments on digital literacy in your own country.

Thinking further

This part is imagined to take you a step further, to think together with your students completely outside the framework of the context in which you live and create.

Think about if the process of digitalisation would be reversed. That the world from now on develops in a way that we quit using IT technologies. What would this mean for their everyday life, for their free time? How would they organize it? How would they imagine informing themselves about the world without social media, Internet, and the like?

Imagine that you and your students use a time machine to transport yourselves to the 1960ies. Can you imagine talking with people, teachers, and students of your age and explain to them that in the future they will communicate with wireless phones and use video calls with colleagues from other parts of the world?