DETECT project: Opening the conversation with teachers on critical digital literacy

By Teresa Romeu, Marc Romero, Juliana Raffaghelli

Between Monday 3rd and Friday 6th March, the project DETECT made an important step on the way to build a critical perspective for the digital literacies needed to live in the contemporary society.

Edul@b group (represented by Teresa, Marc and Juliana) encountered a group of teachers from the Virolai School. Led by Carol de Britos -Primary School- and José Luis Touron -Secondary School-, eight teachers took part in a conversation expanding the meanings of what is being critical when coming to use the several available technologies nowadays.

Indeed, Edul@b had been participating in a number of project’s meetings where the research group of the University of Helsinki (Finland) leads a literature review on critical digital literacies including research papers, policy papers and other documents. This process  required, as final phase, a national consultation of teachers. The idea was to match and expand the emerging concepts in the literature, bringing practices and examples of critical situations that could illustrate the phenomenologies behind the ideas.

Moreover, the conversation with teachers implies the discovery of a number of issues that would lead to the generation of new ideas, to be arranged like a sort of puzzle. The final image is a framework for critical digital literacy as overarching concept,  with implications for educational practice and research.

Two illuminating sessions, we must say!

The teachers talked about their ongoing efforts to tackle an evolving scenario of professional practice with educational technologies against the young people’s approaches to them. Their passion as educators led them to introduce and reflect on a number of situations where technologies can be an allied, but also a peril. Moreover, they explained that the technologies nowadays are an element challenging the way the spaces at school are shared. They pointed out indeed that the school borders with the external world are blurring and this permeability is a critical issue. In front of this situation, there are raising efforts done by all of the teachers to help the students along their maturation to select and adopt technologies, to move to become creators/producers with the technologies.

Another unexpected but relevant critical concern were the materialities of technological equipment. In fact, there is still a long way to go with the students to teach them to take care of resources, to understand the social and environmental impact of having some technologies at their hand.

…and much more!

But would be “spoiling” the end of this story, that will surely continue with  experimental practices by the teachers engaged in DETECT to support other teachers to learn what it takes to teach critical digital literacies; and  with publications led by Edul@b in collaboration with the Virolai teachers.

Here is “a taste” of our productive meetings!

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