Being digitally fluent is when one has successfully obtained the necessary skills and knowledge to select the right digital technology or platform needed to achieve their goal, and is able to explain why they chose that form and how it works. It is the next level from just having basic understanding and skills to naturally analysing and evaluating digital systems, increasing the ability to quickly identify where and how to find information, what program has better tools or which information is more creditable (Spencer, 2015).
Are you digitally fluent…?
We also need to consider other factors in order to be digitally fluent..Am I a respectable digital citizen? Do I use technology responsibly and safely? Am I protecting my digital identity?
The world is changing; we are now evolving into a digitised society, one where most job positions require some kind of digital knowledge and skill and various tasks have moved online, such as shopping, banking and voting. It is crucial that teachers find ways to help their students become digitally fluent otherwise they refrain from successfully participating in society. Many children today do not know what it means to be without computers, tablets and smart phones; therefore they expect to use the, during their lessons. They also find them a fun and engaging learning tool (Prensky, 2008).
In order for teachers to help students become digitally fluent they need to understand and practice the technology them selves. This can be done through workshops, training sessions and online tutorials. They will then be able to identify which digital programs best suit each lesson e.g. Microsoft word can be used to write journals or creative writing pieces. Google is great for researching topics in history or religion and publishing is excellent for creating class newsletters or brochures.
Flipped learning is a great way to give students plenty of practice at using digital platforms on their own; it strengthens their confidence and analytical thinking (Ministry of education, n.d.). Such platforms could be class blogs, wikis, websites and Google classroom (Ministry of education, n.d.). Once a student is comfortable with a program they can then share with the class why and how they used it, increasing their own understanding.
Take a look at some of these videos on what it means to be digitally fluent and the impact technology has on our children…
The importance of being digitally fluent…
Know what it means to be digitally fluent? If so check out our post on digital identities…are you a safe digital user? Are you protecting your digital identity? What is your digital identity?
How does being digitally fluent prepare us for Lifelong learning? Take a look at our post! Lifelong learning in a digital age
[Feature image, technology mind map]. (n.d.). [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://www.digitallearninglab.org
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Laretive, J. (Creator). (2014, April 19). Digital information fluency cycle [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-mCN8dBf-E
Ministry of education. (n.d.). Digital fluency. Retrieved from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Digital-fluency#js-tabcontainer-1-tab-2
Prensky, M. (2008, May 22). The 21st- Century Digital Learner: How tech-obsessed ikids would improve our schools. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008
Spencer, K. (2015, October n.d.). What is digital fluency? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html
Wabisabi Learning. (Creator). (2016, February 16). Information fluency. [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acewns4jni4
Woolley-Wilson, J. (Speaker). (2012, Dec 17). Blending technology and classroom learning. [TEDx Talks]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0TbaHimigw