UbD and Digital Literacies: A Challenge

Clay Burell of Beyond School, who is reading Understanding by Design as part of UbD Educators, mentions a “hole” in the authors’ presentation:

I look forward to more time with UbD in the coming weeks. But I’m reading it with an eye toward a blind spot in their book (so far, anyway — and maybe the 2d edition remedies this) that only edtech geeks would notice: there’s no attention paid to how digital literacies can promote the types of understanding and unit design they so brilliantly advocate.

The challenge? As educators, we need to think of ways to apply the ideas behind UbD to digital literacy. I would like to challenge each UbD educator to come up with at least one unit plan that incorporates digital literacy as part of the unit.

[tags]Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, digital literacy, UbD, Understanding by Design[/tags]

2 thoughts on “UbD and Digital Literacies: A Challenge”

  1. I'm a long-time proponent of all things UbD but I agree with Clay – Special attention needs to be paid to the capabilities learners are afforded when digital tools enter the picture.

    Coauthor Suzie Boss and I wrote a book: Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age. We line out a design process that includes having teachers determine the essential learning functions they wish students to engage in during their project and then match the ever-emerging tools to those functions. Our work is informed by UbD, Buck Institute, Singapore PBL design, and a lot of our own pbl+t instructional design experience.

  2. I have completed two courses through Harvard Graduate School working with Teaching for Understanding which I have found to be very similar to UbD. During the course, we had to build a unit we were teaching with a focus on using web2.0 tools. I've also read Integrating Diffentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design and found that, combined with what I have learned through TfU, I am much more comfortable with using the tools in my planning, teaching and assessing. As an administrator, I've been looking at using what I've gathered here in my planning for the school and our learning goals. I'll see where it leads me.

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