Digital Literacy is one component of being digital citizen – a person who is responsible for how they utilize technology to interact with the world around them. Rubble and Bailey says that, digital literacy is the capability to use digital technology and knowing when and how to use it. What does digital literacy look like? Digital literacy is when students can manipulate and evaluate data to construct their own meaning. Digital literacy also includes a student having knowledge about how to use technology to construct meaning, but most importantly in ways that are appropriate to their needs. Students who know how to use technology are also instructed by parents and teachers on how to use it effectively and appropriately to communicate a message. Most students today have more knowledge about technology than their teachers, but most have not had instruction on how and when to use technology appropriately. Examples
Understanding how to use web browsers, search engines, email, text, wiki, blogs, Photoshop, PowerPoint, video creation/editing software, etc. to showcase learning.
Evaluating online resources for accuracy/trustworthiness of information.
Encouraging students to use technology to showcase their learning.
Using the web (web sites video, music) to enhance the learning of your students.
Students and teachers creating online content to be utilized both in and out of the classroom.
How Can we Embed Digital Literacy into the classroom?
Technology is an advantage in the classroom for the following reasons:
Motivates students in their learning due to their enjoyment and ease of use with various technological mediums.
Allows students to create and design their own unique products reflective of their personalities and learning needs/styles.
Encourages students to manipulate media to construct their own meaning.
Now a days students are generally adept at using technology, teachers need to shift their focus to guiding their students across the spectrum from technologically literate towards technologically fluency.
Literacy refers to knowing what tools to use and how to use them. Fluency however goes beyond that. Fluency goes beyond that, to be considered fluent one must be able to reliably produce a desired outcome. Just like most students arrive knowing what a book or pencil is and have some idea how to use them, they still need guidance become fluent in their uses. Furthermore, most research describes digital fluency as consisting of a number of key elements. While there are a variety of views on how many or what the key elements are, there are some commonalities. Essentially, digital literacy consists of critical thinking, selecting appropriate information, creativity, media awareness, collaboration, and global connectivity.