4 Reasons Classrooms Need Digital Literacy
- Dec 15, 2021
We live in a digital age, where technology has permeated our daily lives. And by no means is this a bad thing. Digital platforms have transformed the way we connect and communicate; making it easier for us to learn and grow.
Just a few decades ago, students would have to scour through a tonne of books for the answer to a simple question. Now all they need to do is ‘google’ it. Indeed, digital literacy has been a real game changer for the education of today’s children. But what is it? And should it be implemented in the classroom?
Introducing You to Digital Literacy
Digital literacy is an individual’s ability to research, evaluate, observe, and clearly communicate information through various platforms on digital media. Long story short, a digitally literate person knows their way around the internet.
This might sound fairly simple. Who doesn’t know how to open a Chrome browser and type in a search bar? But there’s a lot more to the concept. It isn’t just about being able to use an online platform; you need to know how to behave on the platform (netiquette), develop critical thinking skills, collaborate with your peers and engage with them socially.
4 Reasons To Adopt Digital Literacy in the Classroom
It’s safe to say that the world is becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, online classrooms have become the new norm, and only the digitally literate were able to adapt seamlessly. Apart from this, there are several other reasons for why you need to promote digital literacy in your classrooms:
1. The Children of Today Are the Digital Citizens of Tomorrow
A digital citizen is someone who knows how to use the internet in a safe and responsible way. It is inevitable that children will eventually start using social media platforms, and we need to show them how to do it. We’ve all heard of online issues like cyberbullying and catfishing. By introducing digital literacy in the classroom, you can create awareness about these things, so that your students know how to handle such situations.
2. Better Communication
Today, we can communicate with each other through a variety of different platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Zoom, Twitter - the list goes on. But as tutors, we rarely ever leverage these tools to improve the way we teach. By using such online platforms, you can easily improve communication and collaboration between your students. To learn more about how social media can help you teach, you can read our article on building the case for social media in education (Article Link).
3. Evaluating Sources
There is a tonne of false information that is available to us on social media. As adults, it is relatively easy to discern fact from falsehood. But it isn’t so black-and-white for children. This is why we need to teach our students to evaluate information on the internet, so they can gauge the difference between a trustworthy and untrustworthy source.
4. Adapting to Digitalisation
The digital world is here to stay, and children need to learn how to thrive in it. Communication is slowly making way for digital tools like tablets and VR goggles. To keep up with this kind of innovation, children need to be taught digital literacy.
The digital world is here to stay and our students will have to face the challenges and threats that come with it. That doesn’t mean we can’t help them along the way. By promoting digital literacy in our classrooms, we can help students navigate their way through the online universe - and the upcoming metaverse - in a safe and responsible manner.
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