Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and Learning Computer Skills

A while ago I noticed a link on the MCCPOT Diigo RSS feed about Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.  Having known about the orignal Bloom’s Taxonomy I was interested in seeing how it had been updated for the Digital world.  I was already aware that students coming through schools now would bring with them their computer skills but I had never thought about what these skills are.  I found detailed information about this at Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.

What did I like about this website?

First I liked the renaming of the skills as shown below

Next, I reviewed the meaning of each of the skills.  To me, these meanings emphasis the ability to try new things, to think, to explore etc – in other words the ability to Play (I’ve talked about this in my previous posts).

still essentially represents how we learn.

Before we can understand a concept we have to remember it
Before we can apply the concept we must understand it
Before we analyse it we must be able to apply it
Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analysed it
Before we can create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analysed, and evaluated.

Another thing I liked about this wiki (I downloaded the pdf version which I found easier to use) is the Start sheets and marking rubrics for each of the sections.  They provide good examples of progression through the stages.  To me, the first stage would involve a bit of teaching about the skills involved and what is possible, but the learning would come from students experimenting with the different possibilities – what I like to refer to as Playing.

I look at some of the skills involved and I wonder where I would fit on the criteria – mostly at level 1 as I haven’t had the chance to play!

Thinking Skills are key. While much of the knowledge we teach may be obsolete within a few years, thinking skills once acquired will remain with our students for their entire lives.

Industrial age education has had a focus on Lower Order Thinking Skills. In Bloom’s taxonomy the lower order thinking skills are the remembering and understanding aspects.  21st Century pedagogy and learning focuses on moving students from Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) to Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).

A final thought on this – I had a look at the author details (I had noticed that one of the google search screen shots asked about searching for NZ resources!).  The author works in a NZ primary school so if students leave primary school with these skills (11 or 12 year olds), what skills would they have amassed by the time they hit tertiary study (age 18 or 19)?

The Power of Play for Learning

When I was at school our learning was dictated by the teacher and the textbook/library books available ie limited to what others provided us.  We learnt how to print and then to write.  At secondary school I learnt how to type.  This was the limit to using the writing tool.

Now learning is dictated by what can be found and the ability of how to use those resources (including assessing accuracy).  Students are now exposed to computers from an early age.  It is impossible to teach everything about computers because they keep on changing.  Also, our needs keep changing.  How do we prepare students for these changes?  By encouraging them to explore, experiment, play with the tools they have.

Every couple of years computer operating systems and application software changes, not to even mention the new web2.0 tools around.  As a teacher, I haven’t any hope in learning and teaching all of the new things.  What can I do, I can learn to play with the tools.

When I was introduced to this course, I was inspired by the syllabus, in particular with all the new tools which were mentioned.  I have spent ages playing with the different tools – setting up and using a blog, setting up an RSS feed, using Prezi and Jing.  At times it has been frustrating but I have spent ages playing with them and now I have a better understanding of them.  Likewise, I encourage my students to do the same thing with the computer programmes they are learning.  They struggle with the idea that I can’t teach them everything but after a while they do appreciate the ability to do things for themselves.  I have taken to giving them tasks to do of ‘Play’ for a section we have looked at and as we work through the basic skills, I show them other options which are available.  This requires them to think and read the options available and dialogues produced.

Why do I refer to it as Play?

I have found that students are reluctant to experiment or explore something new because they don’t know what outcome they are supposed to be achieving.  However, play allows them to choose things to try; and it doesn’t matter if they totally muck things up.  In fact, my recent observations is that the students are interested in what other students are doing because there aren’t any limitations of what they can do.

How do I think this will help my students?

I hope it encourages them to try things for themselves, to think, and to truly know how to learn.  I believe that the revised Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy gives a way into this by providing a structured approach to legitimise ‘Playing’.  We played as kids, so why shouldn’t we as adults!!

What do others think?

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7 Responses

  1. I love Bloom’s taxonomy, and I use the term HOTS with my students a lot. Thanks for sharing this digital version!

  2. We did learn through the process of play as children. Play involves, experimentation, exploration, creativity, and through it all we learn. I like the idea of adding an element of structured play to the learning environment.

  3. Thank you for this. I placed the image as my Desktop wallpaper, to keep reminding myself about how enriching this is. Play is essential and we forget, especially in this part of the world, where it is so much about every day survival.

    Peace ..

  4. I love the whole idea of play for learning. When we developed the idea of ‘serious fun, serious learning’ as the underpinning philosophy of our teaching this is what we had in mind. There is no reason why play and learning should be separate. For most of human existence, we have learnt by ‘playing’, by mimicking others, my experimenting for ourselves and by practicing until we were good enough to move on to the next thing – all through activities that we would now class as play. Somewhere along the line we adopted this artificial distinction between serious learning and pleasurable play……I still don’t really understand why! To me it’s a bit like the artificial division between classical and popular music or opera and a rock concert – why is one considered ‘worthy’ in some way and not the other? *shrugs and grins.

  5. […] Week 7: The Online Classroom […]

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