Summer digital literacy program...week four & five

So the center is finishing up week six and I'm finishing up week five of the digital literacy program. I had a week off for a family vacation but I'm now back at the center, ready to finish strong with as of today, about a week of programming left.

For week four and five, I've decided to introduce some coding (specifically block coding) to the kids at UNCC. I have mixed feelings about the whole "coding movement" that is prominent in schools and libraries across the United States and the world. We talk about it in library science classes (mainly ones that revolve around youth and digital literacy). I don't dispute the women (white women AND women of color) are outranked by men in tech fields and that the number of jobs in the tech sector are quickly rising, I'm just not sure if requiring every student to code will solve and cover the gap.

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Summer digital literacy program...week two & three

Well I made it through another two weeks and I think I'm getting the hang of the flexibility and quick changes this digital literacy program requires. My biggest (and best) adjustment came in the fact that I focused more closely on each grade level, accepting the fact that my K-2nd group would not get as far as my 3-5th grade group. I kept the general theme in mind but catered each day for the age level. The middle schoolers continue to challenge me and I hope by the end of my time at UNCC, I've made some sort of progress with them.

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Summer digital literacy program...week one

Even though it was a short week, I was exhausted by the time Thursday came around. Tuesday, May 31st marked day one of summer camp here at UNCC, the after-school center I've been working at for the past 21 some months. My final project in Urbana will be rolling out a digital literacy summer program for 50 plus K-8th graders. This program is a culmination of all the hard work, relationship building, and community engagement I've done at the center. I just don't want to teach digital literacy, I want to teach it in a way that really targets the kids I'm working with. A catered-just-for-them program. Essentially, wrapping basic digital literacy skills around with technology and projects that respects and appreciates all the wonderful students I've gotten to know. 

A little daunting, right?

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Two jobs, some undergrads, & some elementary children

For me, this year feels all about putting theory into practice. What I love about grad school (especially this semester) is all the theory I have floating around in my head. I'm constantly challenged and questioned and encouraged. I read every reading because I just never know when a reading will be "the one" aka when things click and my brain whirls around a bit faster. 

And then there's practice. So often we make this divide between those who deal with theory and those who are in the field, practicing. Both experiences are important and when you have a balance of both, they inform each other. Making you a better person and for me, a better librarian. 

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