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Building Digital Skills: Helping Students Learnand Communicate with Technology

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Building Digital Skills: Helping Students Learnand Communicate with Technology

by Anuja Dharkar and Kirsti Aho

October 2003

The information contained in this document represents the current view of Macromedia on the issue discussed as of the date of publication. Because Macromedia must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Macromedia, and Macromedia cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

This white paper is for information purposes only. MACROMEDIA MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT.

Macromedia may have patents, patent applications, trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights covering the subject matter of this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Macromedia, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights or other intellectual property.

Macromedia Flash MX 2004, Macromedia Dreamweaver 2004, Macromedia Fireworks 2004, and Macromedia Freehand MX are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Macromedia, Inc. 600 Townsend Street San Francisco, CA 94103 415-252-2000

Building Digital Skills: Helping Students Learn and Communicate with Technology

Contents

Digital Skills: Trends and Needs.......................................................................................1

Academic Integration.......................................................................................................3

Digital Narrative Project for Macromedia Flash MX 2004.............................................3

Town Website Project for Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004.....................................4

Multimedia Projects for Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Dreamweaver MX 2004................................................................................................................4

Career Skills.......................................................................................................................7

Digital Design Curriculum Guide: Foundations of Web Design....................................7

Tools Skills.......................................................................................................................10

Studio MX 2004 Step-by-Step....................................................................................10

Conclusion......................................................................................................................12

Curriculum Appendix.......................................................................................................13

Bibliography....................................................................................................................14

October 2003 Page iii

Building Digital Skills: Helping Students Learn and Communicate with Technology

Digital Skills: Trends and Needs

The need to prepare students to function and excel in a digital world combined with the need to meet national and state technology standards requires a change in the way many courses are taught. When schools effectively integrate web technology into their courses, they enable students to demonstrate knowledge, develop essential communication skills, and build foundations for their careers.

Digital Skills: Trends and Needs

We use technology every day of our lives: Communication via email, information acquisition on the Internet, and file sharing and exchanging (i.e. photos, documents, movies, etc.). Regular tasks as well as tasks related to specific job functions require digital proficiency or literacy. Digital literacy can be defined as "...the ability to use digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society" (Lemke, 2003). Technology changes the way we communicate and process information. The need for students to build digital skills is increasingly more important in an age where technology and its uses are becoming more sophisticated and widespread.

The first web and multimedia projects arrived in schools because students were clamoring for the newest technology. Early enthusiasts were typically high achievers from homes with computers and computer-literate parents. Today, most occupations use technology, so all students should be introduced to basic information technology (IT) skills. Matriculating students need a combination of basic and job specific technical skills.

Organizations at the local, state, and national levels recognize and support this need for digital literacy. They have identified technology skill standards in the areas of basic digital skills and career technical skills. The International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) identifies general standards for all students to learn:

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Social, ethical, and human issues

Technology productivity tools

Technology communication tools

Technology research tools

Technology problem solving and decision-making tools

These standards describe the basic digital literacy that students can achieve when schools support teachers teaching technology skills and technology integration into academic subjects.

October 2003 Page 1

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