Introducing digital literacy programs in grades from Kindergarten to High School is essential part of the study curriculum. These programs help prepare young children and teenagers alike for the skills they need to engage in technology. Digital media studies aim to help children use technology both safely and responsibly. Using digital technology for academic purposes will help empower students, by providing them with tools and a strong tech skillset that they need to function and thrive in an ever-changing digital world.
What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy refers to learning through various technology means and platforms, these include but are not limited to computers, the internet and educational programs run on the TV. By proving digital literacy to students, the students develop technological skills, understand how to access date and information online as well as learn social responsibility and hone on their social skills by interacting on social media.
The advances in technology over the recent years have changed the way humans communicate, interact as well as work. Technology has changed the way children are taught, virtual learning or more commonly known as e-learning has opened new doors in the education institution. Digital literacy has the potential to improve learning in the long run.
With the help of digital technology students develop and learn skills as well as knowledge that aid them to carefully navigate and differentiate between all types of digital technology. Gaining IT skills enables students to learn conventional subjects in exciting and innovative ways.
By providing digital literacy to students, schools can aid them in thinking critically, evaluate their work better and engage with a global community and tackle academic challenges head-on!
Introducing Communication and literacy Skills with Digital Media
In this era of technology, it is vital that educators broaden their concepts and ideas about literacy. In the early years of their education, children adapt to technology easily and naturally which makes it the prime time to introduce and teach them digital know-how. Facilitating written word with the visual word will help the students better communicate with others.
Whilst conventional literacy is all about learning grammar, reading and writing texts. Digital literacy is more about learning on a broader level by implementing technology and enhancing the learning experience with the help of visual media. This interactive approach to learning ensures a deeper academic understanding, more calculated thinking process, better interpretation skills and help elevate students beyond the limits of conventional literacy.
Going beyond the traditional Reading and Writing
Advancements in technology have provided helpful digital resources for academic learning. These digital resources contribute significantly towards practical learning. Students now enjoy making interactive multimedia presentations and videos for their assignments and projects. Following are a few examples of digital tools that help take students writing to exciting and innovative new levels:
- Use relevant videos and animations to enhance understanding
- Receive quick criticism with chat features
- Tools to search and attain information instantly
- Correct spelling and grammatical mistakes themselves
- Internet gives access to more experts and data in a shorter time as opposed to using a library
- Helps revise and review work without having to rewrite the whole work
Making students familiar with technology and digital devices, encourages them to use these outside the classroom as well. This facilitates better leaning skills and the students strive to learn on their own as well
Ways Digital Literacy makes learning more effective
While traditional learning limits the students to the confines of a classroom and the school building, the use of technology enables and empowers them to learn beyond the four walls of their classroom. Offering digital and technological tools opens a whole new universe of learning possibilities for the students. This encourages a lifetime of learning and ensures better understanding.
Using cloud environments enable students to learn together as a group, contribute easily towards group projects, share as well as speculate ideas. This not only enhances the learning process but improves interpersonal, collaboration and negotiation skills of the students.
Better Connection with Teachers
With the help of digital technology, teachers can help stay connected to students to assist them, provide feedback as well as track each student’s progress and facilitate better and improved learning.
Using Technology in the class room
In order to arm the students with the right tools and make them better global citizens who will give back to the society in a positive way, teachers should utilize the various modes of digital technology in order to become better and effective representors of knowledge. In the past compiling results and grading papers has always been a tedious job for teachers, but now with the help of technology teachers can take tests on computers that are programmed to be automatically graded. Previously a teacher had to spent hours compiling students’ results and grades. Nowadays a grade calculator software can be used to calculate grades of students. The use of grade calculators is not only limited to teachers, but can also be used by students who want to evaluate and compute their academic results.
A few basic technology requirements for introducing a digital literacy programs are given bellow:
- Digital devices like tablets and computers for each student
- A stable and reliable broadband connection
- A school website or cloud where students, teachers and parents can view updates and access class resources as well as individual email ids or school logins for every student
- Digital calendars to help students keep track of scheduled tests and assignments deadlines
- Parental control software to protect children from explicit and inappropriate content.
- Tools to prevent cyber bullying and other negative behaviors
Literacy goes beyond typical reading and writing. To keep up with the constantly changing digital environment learning is becoming more challenging than ever! For this very reason teachers and parents should stimulate digital proficiency, encourage critical thinking and effective communication in students.