Strategies and high level thinking are part and parcel of our daily teaching routines. I’m continually trying to push my students’ thinking, so Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally: Andrew Churches) is a breath of fresh air.
If digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate and create information using digital technology (Reach: Jeff Utecht), then this highlights the theory that technology can in fact push students’ thinking and extend their thinking skills. In fact, linked with the learning pyramid (Darren Kuropatwa), this emphasizes that fact that creating products which teach others could be an effective way to interweave thinking skills with learning.
While I agree with the idea that creation is the most compelling means of challenging students to apply their understanding to new products, I also feel that creating doesn’t stand alone at the top of the pyramid. In fact, I believe that the top three tiers of the pyramid are closely┬á interlinked and should not take place in isolation. What good is creating a product if it is not then analyzed, evaluated and improved? Of course blogs give creators the opportunity for others to read their posts and comment upon them. But the creators themselves must also be given the chance to reflect on their products and evaluate their effectiveness. Peer feedback, whether through comments or other means, is also vital.
Making products for others to see, whether it be podcasts, videos, blog posts or slideshows, is a great way to not only focus on higher level thinking, but also to teach or inform others. As the learning pyramid shows, practicing by doing and teaching others helps students to retain information, therefore digital tools can provide a powerful way to increase understanding.
Constructivism is a key part of learning today, and the revised taxonomy emphasizes the role creation should have in our classrooms. Through the inquiry process, students are able to explore their own questions and construct their own learning with facilitation by the teacher. Now Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy shows the part connectivism can play in constructing understanding. Digital literacy has a key part to play in the future of education and it is now up to us, the teachers, to give our students access to digital tools and empower them to use them.