Pupils and teach­ers at Sacred Heart School (SHS) on Saba were im­pressed by the digital lit­eracy lessons given by Me­diawegwijs last week. They had a chance to explore technology, experience vir­tual reality and experiment with three-dimensional (3D) pens.

The lessons were a sneak preview of modern-day learning, using technol­ogy and multimedia to help children enhance their critical-thinking, problem-solving, team-working and creativity skills. Also, top­ics such as cyber-bullying, recognising fake news and game addiction were ad­dressed in class and during special parent meetings.

When a pupil was asked what he liked most about the lessons, he said, “We get to keep the VR [virtual reality — Ed.] glasses and the robot.”

Digital literacy lessons teach children how to use the digital world to their advantage and to be cau­tious navigating it. Via highly interactive activities the SHS pupils were intro­duced to computer coding and engineering, robotics and animation.

The lessons were set up in a way that the pupils can practise reading, writ­ing and mathematics at the same time.

“A very interesting way of learning that speaks to children because it is so dynamic and entertaining,” commented one of the teachers after her pupil had shown her a word he wrote — in the air — with a 3D pen. The Internet is a world of opportunities and a place for creativity that can eas­ily be accessed by anyone. It can also be unpredict­able, deceiving and hold a lot of misinformation. The teachers from Mediaweg­wijs spoke about these top­ics with the SHS teachers so they can continue to discuss them with their pupils.

For digital literacy educa­tion to be successful, parents and caretakers were also in­volved in the programme. Parents on Saba were very interested in talking about the possible online dangers, such as cyber-bullying and game addiction. “I want my children to be aware of the possible dangers online, like cat-fishing and identity theft. I myself also want to learn how to avoid this,” said a parent.

Mediawegwijs is currently offering its digital literacy lessons in schools in the Ca­ribbean Netherlands. After successful programmes in St. Eustatius and Saba, it will be in Bonaire from May 2. The next trip is already being planned for Novem­ber.

The Daily Herald.