In previous posts I have discussed the role of Wikipedia in the classroom, and the need for critical digital competence. I have described from own experiences of Wikipedia use in the classroom, and found that the critical competence among many students is low. This competence is especially important for 21st century citizens living in a digital everyday. Krumsvik (2007, Jul. 8) calls for a focus on digital Bildung, and explains it as a digital life- and folk-wisdom. He urges students’ parents to involve themselves online in order to get a better sense of the students’ digital everyday.
Digital Bildung is found at a higher level of reflection than for instance that of simply using a digital tool. It requires developing a filter in the face of a huge load of information, and the ability to develop common digital decency. Digital skills as basic skills in the English subject curriculum “involve developing knowledge about copyright and protection of personal privacy through verifiable references to sources” (UDIR, 2006). So what to do then when a problem in the classroom is often extensive copy + pasting, and a low degree of critical competence? Developing an awareness of how to navigate through a load of information is the first step. The teacher needs digital competence in order to do this, and the students need a set of tools in order to test the validity and reliability of Internet sources. Didactically, the teacher could show the students different web pages with varying credibility. She could share her insights in how she assesses the information, and train students through tasks and exercises how to do this.