Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide described digital literacies as Capabilities (behaviours, practices, identities) for “living, learning and working in a digital society”. In its turn, AI literacy has been defined as the competencies that “will be necessary in a future in which AI
transforms the way that we communicate, work, and live with each other and with machines” (Long & Magerko, 2020).
Does AI literacy require digital literacy? Yes, in many ways some of the skills and competences of digital literacy are necessary and what is why is interesting to see our own digital literacy. What is not necessary is coding knowledge and this is a relief since I thought this will be a big limitation for many.
How to measure your digital literacy?
I created this mentimeter and used a likert scale (very difficult to very easy) to see if I could assess my digital literacy. Go to www.menti.com and use the code 3740 5074. I built the scale using the likert option, but following the readings one could also use the pyramid of digital literacy with the lowest option: “I have, I Can, I do, I am”. If you want a more comprehensive assessment this could be a good tool: https://europa.eu/europass/digitalskills/screen/home
There is also a way to evaluate digital literacy in organisations. In the JISC guide they used the categories: emerging, establishing, embedding, experiencing.
They also use the visitor/resident personal/organisation matrix.
The JISC guide mentions that teachers and students know often what they need in terms of practices, but know less about the technologies and services that could help them. So it is important to listen closely to those that are trying to get help to better understand their needs, but also to have competence on different tools and approaches that could help.
So how can teachers use Artificial Intelligence in their work?
Our group decided to focus on artificial intelligence literacy. My first reaction was how in the world am I going to learn about this? Being 40 years old, I feel like a dinosaur in the AI talks, but I thought this is the perfect opportunity to learn something new. I started in youtube, what is AI for learning? I found many videos that provided easy explanations and I think that helped me to overcome my fears. I can recommend these:
My group also decided that we should actually try out an ai tool and I think this was excellent because learning by doing is always better. I tried these two tools, as I spent lots of time preparing presentations and we often use tutorial videos. My favourite was steve.ai as you can literally make short animated videos in 20 minutes.
- create interactive powerpoint presentations: https://curipod.com
- Videos: https://www.synthesia.io/ and https://app.steve.ai
So, what kind of digital literacies can be enhanced with AI?
According to Kong et al. (2021) AI literacy is about three elements: “AI concepts, using AI concepts for evaluation, and using AI concepts for understanding the real world through problem solving”. I focused on one of the seven areas of digital literacy called communications and collaboration. Communication is an important part of learning and artificial intelligence can help students in the process of processing and sharing information and knowledge. While communication can encompass multiple forms, I focused on communication in school presentations, as part of learning activities. The goals can vary from assessing the capability to deliver public presentations, putting their ideas into a coherent story and being able to share what they have learnt. Indeed, it is often said that you learn when you are able to communicate. AI that can help students to create engaging presentations even if the student is a shy person that doesn’t want to be on the screen. From tools to make simple powerpoint presentations to more advanced tools to produce animated videos. It is important to understand that digital literacy is not just about tools, it is about being able to use those tools, evaluate their content, create new content and integrate your own knowledge and reflections.
While AI is changing rapidly, I think that we as teachers should be able to support students so that the can use and evaluate AI tools for learning, but we should encourage their own creativity based on real live experience of solving problems. I think the challenge will always be how to connect both the real live with the digital world. After all we still have many people with unsatisfied basic needs, lacking basic human rights and AI alone will not be able to solve those problems unless we as humans also act in the real world.
Kong, S.-C., Man-Yin Cheung, W., & Zhang, G. (2021). Evaluation of an artificial intelligence literacy course for university students with diverse study backgrounds. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 2, 100026. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeai.2021.100026
Long, D., & Magerko, B. (2020, April 21). What is AI Literacy? Competencies and Design Considerations. CHI ’20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Place of Publication: New York, NY, USA; Honolulu, HI, USA. Country of Publication: USA. https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376727
Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide. Available here
White D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Available here