Keri Rodney | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Digital literacy curriculum for adults: With a focus on teaching ELL students defined as digitally illiterate

Keri Rodney, M.A. in Computing in Education

Adults who lack digital and computer skills often find themselves at a disadvantage when faced with academic, professional or social tasks that require such skills. Based on current digital literacy definitions, these adults would be considered ‘digitally illiterate’. This project focuses on English Language Learners (ELL), defined as digitally illiterate, who travel to the U.S from low-income communities to achieve a higher education. These people are at a high risk of not passing their college courses and in jeopardy of having their students Visas revoked because they lack the digital knowledge and skills needed to pass college courses and succeed in a higher education institution.

This curriculum would offer a Community College’s scholarship program an opportunity for its foreign students to gain essential computer and digital knowledge and skills by participating in a six-week, pre- college enrollment, Digital Literacy course. The curriculum designed for the Digital Literacy course was informed by a technology survey distributed to students in the college’s tutoring center. Most of the college’s ELL students visit the tutoring center for help with their course assignments; therefore this location would have a high possibility of ELL students completing the survey. Data gathered from the survey shows student’s perceptions, opinions, and understandings of different aspects of computer and digital technology. The survey provides valuable insight into the student’s level of knowledge and skills which helped determine which concepts and topics are essential when designing a digital literacy curriculum


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