Digital Literacy

digital literacy

Digital Literacy is a term coined to describe the ability of individuals to find, evaluate, create or utilize content found in digital format. The internet is the main reason that people need to be digitally literate. There is so much information at your fingertips; it is easy to determine which content is valuable and which content should be ignored. Digital Literacy is of particular importance in the classroom setting. It used to be that when students

It used to be that when students had to construct a research paper of any type, they had to go to the library and then search for information through the card catalog. Since the number and type of resources were limited by this technique, they student could pretty much assume that data found in those books were relevant and correct. This is not the case today.

With a couple of keywords, you can find information on just about any topic imaginable. The problem is how do you know if the information is valid. On the vast majority of websites, including the one you are reading, the information is based on the author’s opinion. If the case of the author does have years experience in an educational environment, so ideas are based on experience, but they are still an opinion. This applies to most websites.

This is why digital literacy is so important for people to master. If you look at the definition of digital literacy, the main word is to evaluate. You must read everything on the internet with a critical eye and gather clues to determine the competency of the information. Google has worked on this topic with its introduction of authorship. There is also rumors that Google provides additional ranking symbols to authors who have demonstrated competency in a particular area. Expect the ability to list authors based on their knowledge of a subject to increase as time goes along.

Digital Literacy in the Classroom

Now that we have looked at what digital literacy is, how can we use digital literacy in the classroom? Digital literacy is about the mastering of technology, to convey students this skill set, you must incorporate technology into as many facets of your classroom as possible, Many faculties are already doing this with educational applications such as Google Apps for Education or the flipped classroom model. The Flipped classroom is of particular importance for students to have adequate digital skills as the are mostly teaching themselves.

Since using the technology for learning management platforms or internet search is crucial for success, time must be taken to ensure students have the technical skills required. Regardless if you are teaching English or math or web programming, you still must take the time to educate students on how to evaluate resources they may encounter in digital format. This ensures they can learn the material, and a lack of technical skills do not interfere with subject matter consumption. Understanding technology not only helps the students in the classroom, but it also helps them become better netizens in this connected world

Some of the way technology is an advantage in the classroom for digital learning:

  • Motivates students to become self-learners – As student improve their ability to locate and evaluate internet resources, they become better self-learners. In the age of digital literacy, this is what will separate the successful students from those who struggle.
  • Allow you to reach students who may have different learning styles. The variety of how information is presented allows students to consume information that fit their style of learning.
  • Students learn to be more creative. As students become more accustomed to creating content online, they tap into their creative potential in a fascinating way. This also builds confidence and encourages the students to learn even more.

These are just a few ways technology can help students learn by using digital learning techniques.

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