Digital Media Literacy in English
The Language grades 1-8 released in 2023 is based in part on the principle that “a modern English curriculum reflects emerging technologies and their impact on communication and digital media literacy,” which is defined as combining “the ability to combine the multimodal properties of media literacy with the technological capabilities of digital literacy.”
An important part of the curriculum is multimodal literacy instruction, which “focuses on the interplay among the different modalities as students receive information, make meaning, represent ideas, and express their thinking…. [and] highlights the diverse text forms, modes, and media used to communicate meaning in various contexts and communities.”
Digital technology in the Language curriculum
The Language curriculum recognizes that:
Technology can be used to support the processes involved in the language curriculum: to facilitate access to information (e.g., accessing relevant and credible web-based content); and to allow better communication and collaboration (e.g., working with peers in collaborative documents, connecting with experts, and communicating with teachers) …
The use of technology in the language curriculum also provides opportunities for students to develop their transferable skills, including digital literacy. When using technology to support the teaching and learning of language, teachers consider the issues of student safety, privacy, and ethical responsibility, respect and inclusion, and student well-being.
It also notes that “students must be made aware of issues of privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the ways in which the internet can be used to promote hatred.”
The course is divided into four strands:
A. Literacy Connections and Applications
B. Foundations of Language
C. Comprehension: Understanding and Responding to Texts
D. Composition: Expressing Ideas and Creating Texts
There are connections to digital media literacy in strands A, C and D. Strand A also contains a dedicated Digital Media Literacy expectation that connects to every topic in MediaSmarts’ Digital Media Literacy Framework:
Students develop and apply digital media literacy knowledge and skills to support their learning. They learn about their rights and responsibilities when interacting online and developing their digital identity, learn to navigate online environments while managing their data, security, and privacy, including seeking appropriate permission, and use digital and media tools to evaluate information and demonstrate their learning. They learn and apply the conventions and techniques of digital and media texts and analyze the relationship between text forms and content, audiences, and creators. They use digital and media tools in the design process to develop innovative solutions. Students learn how to interact and contribute to an empathetic, respectful, and inclusive online community.