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Do I need a 'digital contract' for my students' learning?

I was teaching coding at a school the other day and a teacher asked if they should be using a digital contract with their students. I'm referring to a digital learning tasks contract, not a Digital Citizenship contract, which should always be used. This is a great question that I'm sure many of you have pondered. My quick answer is no.

After the explicit teaching of a digital app or program, we need to be using the digital technology as a tool for creation in order to be working within the Digital Technologies Curriculum. If you have a digital contract, digital learning will be seen as an additional part to the classroom and not integrated. We need to introduce enough tools for our students to be able to choose which tools best fits their requirements, and then use them meaningfully.

I would incorporate digital technology into your literacy and numeracy contracts, maybe making three tasks using a digital context. Again, don't state which tasks or which digital tool, as each child needs to be able to choose and justify why they are using the tools. This is what integration looks like. There is no additional work and no pressure to make everything digital (which we definitely do not want), but there is a choice and option to work within the student's strengths and learning preferences.

We don't want to be digital all the time, that is not the purpose of the digital curriculum. For example, a lot of my work is digital but in my personal life I prefer to write out a shopping list by hand. We all have these preferences and we should never use the same tool to do all the jobs! Tools are specialised and relate to specific uses, whether it be a hammer, a cake mixer or an iPad. We need to be able to identify which tool will work best for our purpose and chop and change as needed.

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