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Navigating Digital Literacy in the Age of Misinformation

A conversation with literacy technology consultant Shaelynn Farnsworth

Part one in a two-part series

Shaelynn Farnsworth is a literacy technology consultant who is excited to be a featured presenter in the newly added Future of Ed Tech Librarian and Media Specialist track at the upcoming 2020 Future of Education Technology (FETC), January in Miami.

Farnsworth witnessed firsthand how education can help break the cycle of poverty by being the first in her family to graduate with an undergrad as well as a graduate degree. Her parents strongly emphasized the importance of education, and it eventually led her to the path she is on today. As she explains, “[They] always valued education and wanted us to know that we could conquer and do anything we wanted to as long as we went to college and received a degree to open different opportunities.”

As a consultant, Farnsworth focuses on exploring the interrelationship between technology, literacy, differentiation, and systemic change. Communication technology, in particular, is an area Farnsworth has noticed an exceptional amount of change. She adds, “When you look at technology’s role in education and life, communication is the area that has transformed the most. If you look at the SAMR model and all of those different acronyms that we use in education, communication and being literate [has been] completely redefined because of the technology in the world we live in.”

Literacy is Farnsworth’s passion, specifically as it relates to digital information. She asks the question, “How can we be information literate in this contemporary age?” while highlighting the importance of discernment. “It brings in the whole notion of information, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. It’s one of my specialty areas where I deep dive into ‘deepfakes’ and AI and how we can hone those skills of information literacy in the classroom,” she says.

Farnsworth looks forward to FETC for the chance to connect with a global network of experts in the areas of literacy and technology. She commends FETC for its emphasis on providing information that goes beyond tech, incorporating pedagogy and student achievement.

About Shaelynn Farnsworth

Shaelynn Farnsworth is a leader in the convergence between literacy and technology. As a high school teacher, she redefined her English classroom as not only a place to learn about literature but also explore how technology is shaping the future of communications.

She continues this exploration as a consultant focusing on technology, literacy, differentiation, and systemic change. Shaelynn is a staff developer, literacy coach, and supports districts in the implementation of initiatives. She is a MIEExpert, Google Certified Innovator, Apple Teacher, and has training in Project-Based Learning from the Buck Institute, Instructional Coaching, and K-12 Literacy Best Practices.

Shaelynn shares her musings at shaelynnfarnsworth.com. You can follow her on Twitter @shfarnsworth

The 40th anniversary Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 14-17, 2020 in Miami, Fla. Registration is now open at Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)

FETC 2020 40th Anniversary

Further Reading
This post includes mentions of a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit
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