Maha Bali writes: "We often hear people talk about the importance of digital knowledge for 21st-century learners. Unfortunately, many focus on skills rather than literacies. Digital skills focus on what and how. Digital literacy focuses on why, when, who, and for whom."
Maha Bali's article is worth sharing widely with anyone who needs to be nudged ever so gently into the 21st century of education. (We're 16% through it, folks!) Bali addresses the need to teach about digital skills and literacy in an authentic context, not a vacuum, and gives many concrete examples for doing that.
I recently did a lesson on blogging with a 6th grade class. We looked at several tween and teen blogs, then reviewed good digital citizenship practices emphasizing student safety and copyright. Finally, each student created a blog on Blogger. Will they make mistakes? Probably. (When I specifically told them to keep it school appropriate, with nothing in the blog they wouldn't be allowed to do at school, and one student immediately started searching for "Call of Duty 3" images!) Will we all learn something from this? Absolutely.