During a lesson today I was explaining to my Prep class that they were to create a video book report for the school wide reading challenge. After modeling an example, one student put her hand up and said “You didn’t say, don’t forget to subscribe.”
So many questions and ideas came rushing into my head about the student’s comment. My first thought was, why did she say that? How does she know that is what people say at the end of some videos? Probably because she watches YouTube. But only Vloggers say that type of thing. What kind of videos is this girl watching? What kind of vlogs do 5 year olds watch anyway? No idea. Wait – does she think this video will be posted on YouTube? I didn’t say that it would, maybe she just assumes that all videos eventually end up on online. Wow she really must watch a lot of videos. Stop, stop – does she actually know what subscribe means? Maybe she just thinks that is something you say at the end of every video like when you sign off on a letter or say good afternoon to the teacher at the end of the day.
Now, as I am sitting at home reflecting on that comment I have so many more questions. Maybe this is what they mean by digital literacy? What even is digital literacy? And who is they? Why did she say that?
In pursuit of answers I stumbled across the 5 Dimensions of Critical Digital Literacy: A Framework by Juliet Hinrichsen and Antony Coombs at the University of Greenwich.
The framework suggests that there are 5 components of critical digital literacy. After reading about each component I have come to two conclusions.
If the student doesn’t understand the concept of subscribing I think her comment reflected her understanding of the conventions (Decoding) and communications norms of vlogs. She has probably heard people say it before and simply knew that it was something that people say at the end of videos.
However if she understood the concept of subscribing I think it is more likely that she was demonstrating her understanding of reputation management (Persona). Being aware that vloggers need to maintain their online presence and reputation by asking and reminding people to continue to follow and watch their videos.
Note to self: Tomorrow ask student if she knows what subscribing means.
Update: Turns out the student’s father is a social media personality in our region, apparently so much so that other students refer to him as the “Dad on Snapchat”. Looks like the apple won’t be falling too far from the tree with this one.