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Institutional Vision

The Vision for the Digital Hub

The Internet is the most important context for literacies in our globally connected world. And although traditional print-based literacies are fundamental for the development of digital literacies, it is essential to remember that there are particular ways of reading, writing, creating, communicating and participating in digital spaces that must be learned. Given the ubiquity of smart phones, laptops, and tablets it is now essential for every teacher to develop a deep understanding of digital literacies learning and instruction.


The children and teens we teach today have never known a world without the Internet but research on the teaching and learning of multimodal, digital and media literacies has been slow to take hold in contexts of schooling. There are many reasons for this -- but at this moment, as pre-service teachers today, your teaching careers will most likely require you to lead the full-scale integration of printed and digital literacies practices in Ontario schools. At the University of Ottawa, we want all of our candidates to be ready for this challenge.


As part of the Digital Hub strategy project, B.Ed. candidates will:


  • Know that traditional literacies (reading, writing and speaking) are the foundations for digital and web-based literacies, but that these literacies are insufficient for reading, writing, communicating, creating and participating on the Internet. Digital literacies are no longer optional. Rather, these literacies are fundamental and must be taught.

  • Understand that disciplinary literacies (e.g., in science, math, music, art, physical education) and digital literacies can be integrated in ways that enable learners to think and solve more problems with more tools and in more complex ways. This means that every teacher is responsible for teaching digital and web-literacies in their discipline(s).

  • Know how to use diverse digital tools in service of their own professional work -- tools for time management, managing meetings, classroom communications, parent communications.

  • Have created a professional webspace -- a space we call a Digital Hub -- that they own, and that becomes their professional digital “home”. Over their two-year teacher education program, this space will evolve into a rich, public, professional interface for the work they will do in their careers as teachers. Beyond the B.Ed program, we hope candidates continue to use this space as their professional home on the Internet.

  • Understand how to...

    • participate ethically, responsibly and openly in networked learning spaces (e.g., YouTube, Google docs, Twitter, Edmodo, Facebook, Instagram);

    • find and evaluate information that they read for academic purposes;

    • use digital tools to read, write, synthesize, create, remix and share their work (e.g., Google Apps for Education, Mozilla Webmaker);

  • Have an emergent understanding of how to design learning experiences that support development of digital and web-literacies skills, as outlined by various frameworks (e.g., Mozilla.org, Mediasmarts.ca and New Literacies frameworks.


Technology Integration: Policy Imperatives

Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, requires programs of professional education in Ontario to include experiences that teach teachers how to use technology as a pedagogical tool (Regulation 347/02, Schedule1, Pedagogical and Instructional Strategies Knowledge). 

To this end, and as outlined in the OCT Accreditation Guide (Ontario College of Teachers, 2014, p. 10) all accredited teacher education programs in Ontario must ensure students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to:
  • The intersection of technology, pedagogy and content knowledge for instruction, assessment, creation, collaboration, and communication;
  • Locating and evaluating technology resources and tools for different purposes and to model critical viewing, representing, and thinking for students;
  • Ensuring and modelling safe, ethical, healthy, and responsible use of technology and digital social media tools; 
  • Using technology to enhance differentiation, collaborative learning, and construction and mobilization of knowledge as well as to encourage innovation, intellectual curiosity, and creativity;
  • The understanding of students as knowledge creators and the role of technology in supporting this.
The Digital Hub strategy comprises one part of the University of Ottawa's strategy for teaching teachers how to use diverse digital tools to support student learning. 

The Ontario College of Teachers to whom the Faculty of Education makes recommendation for your certification to teach recently revised its advice on the use of Electronic and Social Media by Ontario Teachers. Please REVIEW this advisory carefully. Notice that the College recognizes the potential of social media for teaching, but also offers words of caution for how to avoid inappropriate uses of these media platforms. To be able to navigate the complexities of these digital technologies in ways that support learning, but also protect you, your students and the communities you serve, you need to practice sharing information in digital spaces for professional purposes. The Digital Hub Strategy is your chance, during your B.Ed. to learn how to set boundaries, but also how to creatively integrate these tools for professional networking, learning and teaching activities. Don't assume that the literacies practices that you have developed in your personal life with your social media accounts necessarily apply in a professional context -- when the purpose for your social media activity changes, so too must the strategies you use.