Digital literacy is imperative in today’s classrooms. According to Celina Brennan, digital literacy is “the ability to use technological tools to compose ideas, research information, reflect, communicate, network, and collaborate.”
In the classroom, students should be expected to be technologically literate and fluent. There is a myth that the younger generation, called digital natives, should know how to use technology already without having to be taught in a classroom setting. Older generations who did not grow up with technology are called digital immigrants and are not as literate. This is, of course, all nonsense. While there might be some truth to this myth, everyone benefits from digital literacy education. With adequate education, people should become just as literate in technology as they do with every other subject.
Developing digital literacy, especially early on in a student’s life, helps create a healthy attitude towards technology. If students are educated in technology’s benefits and dangers early on, there won’t be as many issues arising in the future.
As a future educator, I feel that it is essential that students not only learn how to use the internet to find reliable sources for their research and collaborate with people worldwide, but also learn digital citizenship. We must accept that we cannot monitor what students are doing online at all times. With this freedom, teaching students digital citizenship and responsibility early on is essential. There are still issues with so-called “keyboard crusaders.” These are the people who believe they are invincible while they are behind a keyboard. If no one knows who they are, then what is the problem with being a bully online? People, young and old, do not understand that everything they do online can be traced back to them and could affect their lives later on. Young people are especially guilty of this behavior. They do not understand that future employers will look at their digital footprint during the hiring process. Digital citizenship is just as important to learn as digital literacy.
To me, digital fluency is the ability to take lessons and skills learned from previous digital experiences and use it to solve future problems. Digital fluency is also the ability to keep up with the constant changes in technology. I believe one of the best ways to become proficient in new technology is to find new tools and play with them until you figure it out. The new information and skills are much more likely to stay with you this way because you are playing with the tools and figuring it out for yourself.
I believe I am already pretty proficient with technology. I am able to do minor troubleshooting to fix problems as well as navigate the internet and social websites with ease. However, I know there is much I have to learn. During this class will be the first time I will have actively used Twitter. I expect to learn a lot from the people that I am following about digital literacy, citizenship, and how to incorporate technology in the classroom.
Cover Photo CC Juan Cristobal Cobo: Digital Natives