Web literacy, what’s it all about and how can Arts Award help?
BY: Judy McFall
03 Jul 2017
Arts Award’s continuing development work in digital arts and our partnership with the Mozilla Foundation means that we are increasingly aware of how important it is for young people to be web literate.Mozilla’s work centres around five key internet issues, one of which is web literacy. Their vision of web literacy means having all the skills we need to think, create, and thrive online.
Web literacy means more than just learning how to code. An-Me Chung, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Mozilla says ‘it should include all the skills to be confident and competent online. To be empowered digital citizens, we all need to know how to navigate, how to share, what information to trust, and most importantly, how to expand the frontiers of our knowledge.’
She goes on to remind us that increasingly, every job is becoming a digital job. Employers, educators, and other institutions are looking for those with the agility, skills and know-how to succeed in the 21st century. Arts Award helps young people develop 21st century skills, and this is why Arts Award is championing web literacy as part of our digital strategy in 2017.
We also understand that there’s more to web literacy than future jobs. Learning these skills will benefit young people in many ways no matter whether they choose a career in the arts or not. It’s less about encouraging young people to become software developers and more about them gaining creativity and problem solving skills.
Since 2014 there have been opportunities for all children and young people to develop into digital citizens through the school computing curriculum. Before 2014, ICT as part of the curriculum focussed mainly on computer literacy, such as word-processing and spreadsheets. However the current curriculum teaches computer science, information technology and digital literacy: teaching young people how a computer works, how they can make it work for them and do so safely.
We’re returning to the Mozilla Festival this year to host a young leaders’ pathway, enabling Arts Award participants to deliver their own creative digital leadership workshops. We’ll also be joining a team of organisers to contribute to the Web Literacy Space at the festival, built around a garden theme. This theme highlights that a healthy internet and a healthy garden are both diverse systems that can nourish us.
In the space, visitors will learn the many ways that they can contribute and express their viewpoints, thoughts and ideas on the web. We’ll also explore how to keep healthy and safe on the web whilst being creative too.
Nurturing the next generation of gardeners
As the web becomes a more and more important part of our personal and professional lives, the online gardeners of tomorrow will need new skills, techniques, and ways of thinking to participate to the fullest. Learning digital skills early will help the next generation create a healthy, productive relationship with the web and develop the skills to compete in an ever-changing digital economy.
Educators, parents, guardians and mentors have an important role to play in teaching web literacy. In the Web Literacy Space they can learn from each other and share their techniques, lesson plans and tools for teaching important digital skills.
We hope that you and your Arts Award participants will join us at Mozfest on October 27–29 at Ravensbourne in London. There are opportunities for Arts Award centres and supporters to offer workshops and demos, as well as the young leaders’ pathway. Check out our blog to find out more about how to apply.
Mozfest schools day – save the date!
In addition to the Web Literacy Fest, Arts Award will be co-hosting a MozEd event on Friday 17th November at the Coin Street venue in London. The day will be designed to take KS2 pupils through digital technology, and the exciting possibilities of creative learning. At the same time, teachers will be inspired with ideas to take back to their classrooms and be able to confidently deliver similar activities to continue the digital learning journey. This event will be open to up to 150 young people in classes of up to 30. All participants will have the opportunity to take part in four workshops and to complete Arts Award Discover as part of the day. More information will be available very soon about the event!
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