In an ever changing technological society, it can be nearly unavoidable to feel a little bogged down with all of the constant digital advancements. If you feel this way, don’t worry, because you are definitely not alone! Digital literacy can be a difficult concept to fully grasp for the simple reason that it involves a lot of different moving parts. You have to know how to locate, understand, and analyze the information that is attained using the technology and also have to obtain the knowledge to operate the technology in order to attain the information. This can seem like a pretty arduous task, especially for those who did not grow up in the generation of technological advancement.
Digital fluency on the other hand is a bit different. It is a much bigger and broader classification than literacy. Digital literacy is one of the sectors of digital fluency, but fluency has other components as well. It also involves being able to have social competence. One of the best ways I’ve heard digital fluency described is on the blog of Karen Spencer who is the director of education for NetSafe in New Zealand. If you are curious or want to learn more about digital fluency click here to access her blog post about it!
I think one of the essential portions being digitally literate is the ability to access and use any form of online communication. This does not necessarily have to be on a social media account such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. It can be as simple as accessing an email account. This is especially important for teachers, as they now receive numerous emails everyday from superiors, coworkers, team teachers, and parents of children in their classroom.
Being a part of the millennial generation, I consider myself to be very technologically savvy, and think that I could most likely handle any technology that would be put into my future classroom, however, just because I know how to operate it, doesn’t mean I know how to correctly implement it. I will admit, I think this is where I will struggle the most in the classroom. The generation that I am a part of basically knows technology and nothing else, so I think it will be difficult to refrain from using it all the time no matter the subject or content that is being taught in the classroom. On the other hand, it would also be detrimental to the learners in my future classroom to completely eliminate technology as well. There is a wonderful blog published by USC Rossier School of Education that explains the top 7 reasons why digital literacy is important for teachers. I found it rather insightful, and if you would like to read it as well and gain some of the knowledge that I did, click here!
Clearly, digital literacy is revolutionizing how we teach our students. I just hope that I will be able to use technology to my students benefit!