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What is Digital Literacy and How to Use it in the Classroom

What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy has several definitions, info graphs, explanations, and interpretations. Most of them share similarities. According to the ALA (American Library Association), digital literacy is the capacity to utilize information and communication technologies to access, analyze, create, and convey information, needing both cognitive and technical abilities. To be considered digitally literate, you must possess certain abilities. Those talents are as follows:

Creation and Creativity
Students need to be able to produce. Not only for today, but for the future. We must educate them on how to use their knowledge to create significant objects and ideas. This demands inventiveness. Giving pupils the flexibility to be creative and include their hobbies and unique flair in their work is empowering and prepares them for the world ahead.

Communication that is both effective and appropriate is essential for digital literacy. To properly learn digitally, students must acquire the ability to share what they have learned, their opinions and questions, and engage with their peers. During live sessions, students will speak vocally, but they will also communicate via essays, projects, presentations, evaluations, and other tasks.

Netiquette is concerned with online safety. Students may be unaware that their digital footprints will accompany them for the rest of their lives. We must educate kids to speak respectfully at all times. They should also understand what constitutes improper behavior, how to spot it, and who to report it to.

Collaboration is another life skill that students will take with them into the future. Students must comprehend the task and how to utilize the tools provided for that work to collaborate online. Face-to-face collaboration is not required for successful collaboration. The sky is the limit once pupils comprehend the platform. Sharing, listening, taking notes, and understanding each person’s position is all part of digital literacy communication.

Functional Knowledge
Most youngsters are at ease with technology. It’s part of their generational standards, just as my Walkman and Nintendo were for me and my contemporaries in the 1980s. Nobody had to teach me the fundamentals of these instruments. It was quite natural. Nowadays, it seems that children are born with basic functioning abilities. They employ abilities such as online browsing, downloading, opening and shutting documents, utilizing applications, filming and editing movies, publishing to social media, and others. This occurs in their spare time when they are on social media, watching YouTube, or talking with pals. Even tiny children are capable of manipulating V-tech toys, iPods, mobile phones, and Osmos. There are a lot of kid YouTubers. Some people have their channels, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and so forth. These talents transfer to class and academics, requiring our instructors to comprehend them to add value to the competence they already possess.

Although kids have these intrinsic talents, they need also to have additional functional skills relevant to the platforms and technologies utilized by the educational system to achieve digital literacy. Pupils must learn to type on a keyboard. Texting on a laptop or desktop is quite different from texting on a phone’s touchscreen. Many parts of technology have evolved throughout time, but one constant is the layout of the keys on a keyboard. Our pupils will work in jobs that do not now exist and will address issues that do not yet exist. It is critical to have strong functional skills in technology.

Thinking Critically
Any classroom setting requires critical thinking. Students must be challenged with rigor and the appropriate amount of productive struggle, forcing them to think more deeply than they would normally.

What is the Importance of Digital Literacy?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid shift from face-to-face to virtual learning demonstrated the importance of digital literacy. Virtual learning is now the sole mode of instruction and learning in many school districts. Students and parents are learning how to navigate new systems and accurately complete assignments. Even for hybrid students or those who still attend school face to face daily, computers and other devices such as Clear Touch boards, Promethean boards, iPads, clickers, and a plethora of programs and websites are utilized to accomplish tasks.

Consider this: what would you do if all of the technology you own and use every day stopped working for a week? How would you behave? What methods would you use to communicate, teach, and learn? How do you pay your bills, order food, listen to music, or watch movies? It is critical to have the skills necessary to prosper with digital literacy.

Methods for Promoting Digital Learning in the Classroom
Examine what your pupils already know and can accomplish. Assign groups of students with the varied abilities to work on tasks together. We all know that pupils may learn from one another. Teach pupils how to utilize the internet responsibly and how to assess which sites are reputable and worthwhile.

Allow students to choose how they want to complete assignments. Provide a selection board with several possibilities. For example, students might complete each given project using a video presentation, a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, a brochure, a diary post or blog, a song they wrote, and so on. Allow students to share their skill sets with you. Teaching is the ultimate kind of learning.

Encourage the five Ps of digital citizenship. Passwords, Private Information, Personal Information, Photographs, Property, Permission, Protection, Professionalism, and Personal Brand are examples of these. Children must grasp the protocol; their obligation to be smart, safe, and kind; and the potential consequences of utilizing the internet and other digital sources.

Digital literacy is important for more than just students. Teachers and other school personnel must have these skills as well to provide their students with the best and most comprehensive education possible. Many instructors struggle with technology and just do not comprehend it. Some people may find it intimidating. Degreed instructors who graduated 20 years ago or more did not learn about digital literacy and how to use it in the classroom in college. This is why teaching has always been about personal and professional development.


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