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14Feb2018

Importance Of Digital Literacy In Education

Despite sounding very similar to computer literacy, digital literacy comes with a completely different meaning. This is a branch of study that requires a deep understanding of the communal issues emerging out of digital technologies. Digital literacy is also about creating an awareness of the standard governing online behavior. To proceed with this arm of education, you also need to put your vital thinking skills to the ultimate test. Hence to sum it all, digital literacy is a combination of critical thinking, social engagement and the wide knowledge of various digital tools. After understanding the definition of digital literacy it is time to learn about its significance in the classroom.

  1. The Emergence of a Class Called Digital Citizens

As you all are aware that reading, writing and mathematics are the three pillars of education, here is a fourth pillar that comes in the form of digital literacy. All set to create a unique fraternity named as digital citizens, students through this field of education will learn the tips connected to the use of technology.

Students will be informed about how to indulge in a legitimate use of technology while they are interacting with their online contacts. It is through this section of education that you as a student will be better prepared to thrive in your area .

  1. Deep Learning – The Star Attraction

One of the most prominent constituents of digital literacy is the benefit of profound learning. Emerging in the form of six Cs, these are the skills that can be honed, while treading the path of digital literacy.

  • Character: Through digital literacy, students will be able to hone their traits like resilience, perseverance and strength of purpose. Along with these improvements, you will also develop an innate push to embrace learning as part of your everyday lifestyle.
  • Creativity: Only when you ask intelligent questions, will you develop your creativity. Your creativity will come to the fore when you develop an ability to weigh and grab your opportunities coming out of fresh entrepreneurial ideas presented by online platforms.
  • Cooperation: This trait is to work in tandem with others alongside demonstrating strong team-based and interpersonal skills.
  • Critical Thinking: Applying logic to everything that happens around you is the basic premise behind developing a critical mindset. In doing so, you will be prompted to evaluate information while identifying different patterns and associations between various elements. Eventually, you will be able to lay hands on resourceful information that can find a place in the real world.
  • Communication: The ability to communicate better with different audiences is an essential arm of digital literacy. When you focus on this aspect of expressing your thoughts and views to global audience, you will be employing different tools and methodologies that will make your communication effective to every online reader or viewer.
  • Citizenship: Here, your value system comes to the front when you develop a holistic view of the world around you. Through a deeper understanding of societal issues, you will be able to come up with solutions to complex problems involving diverse beliefs and values.
  1. The E-Safety Cover

Most of the online lives of people are distorted; very far from reality. Drifting away from ethics, digital interfaces come in as thriving grounds for bullies and criminals. These anti-social elements try to rope in innocent youngsters and prompt them to accept fake information. It is also through misrepresented facts that a lot of children fall prey to such harmful netizens. The end result of such unlawful acts shows up in the form of mental health issues along with feelings of detachment and loneliness amongst students.

So what is the way out? You may ask.

It is here that the educational curriculum should step in so that students are taught the ethics concerning digital literacy. A host of lesson plans should be initiated by teachers to shed light on the need for online safety. Students should be taught to not only secure their personal online information but also to be vigilant about sharing photographs on social media platforms. It is through this e-safety education that students should be cautioned against sharing personal data to unwarranted sites or people.

  1. Fake News – A Red Flag of the Digital World

Modern classrooms have now taken the shape of anchors spreading false news. It is hence the need of the hour to bring in a sense of discretion between fact and fiction, especially when it concerns students.

Teachers are thus required to equip their wards with tools that can differentiate between fraudulent and trustworthy news. They can achieve this goal by discussing news trivia as part of daily curriculum. They are also required to discuss about the role played by social media in the spread of false information. Through examples, teachers can compare the differences between a satire, false news and a real piece of valuable information. You as a teacher should validate all your instructions by stressing on the need to verify authentic sources of information.

  1. How to Use Internet Appropriately

Everything concerning digital literacy is linked to ethics. Students in their pursuit of learning or entertaining themselves should pay heed to what sort of online behavior is acceptable and what attracts corrective action. Since the online space does not clearly compartmentalize your private and public spaces, it pays to tread the online path with caution.

Teachers step in here to address this issue when they prompt students to think about their personal information that is published online. This exercise will be an eye-opener to students who will try to assess the reactions of others with regard to their public presence.

  1. Live the World of Digital Classrooms

With digital literacy, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a modern classroom which employs digital lessons as learning tools. Modern classrooms which are governed by collaborative learning and student-centric learning can make the most of digital literacy as the much needed educational tool.

For instance, an English teacher can look at blogging as a promising tool to teach her wards about the power of words. On the flipside, a social-science teacher can present the scenarios of real world issues that are available online and encourage students to understand them and prompt them to offer solutions.

  1. Save Students from the Trap Laid By Online Advertisements

You know for sure the impact of ads on children. Most of the promotional campaigns run by companies target the younger generation and excite them to buy their stuff. Hence it comes as a dire need to safeguard children from the traps laid by online advertising.

Digital literacy, here demands the intervention of teachers to coach students about online ads and their striking influence on their day-to-day lives. Allowing students to closely examine the commercial ads that have been targeted at them is a tested means to teach them about consumer behavior. Students will also pick up tricks on selling. With this knowledge in hand, children will be able to create innovative ads that are not only encouraging but appropriate for their age.

  1. Inculcate A Positive Sense of Body Images

With the online territory a buzz with images of fit and toned bodies, young girls and boys of today are giving utmost importance to their body measurements and weight, so much so that they are relying on fad diets. If you are a parent of a young boy who has just entered his teens, you will notice his strong intent to flaunt a sculpted body. This attitude can pose a host of health complaints in kids.

In an attempt to nip off the bud of ideal body shapes amongst young adults, teachers can rely on digital literacy by showing them online images of their Snapchat contacts. Then, they should encourage their wards to attach a sense of judgment to the images they are seeing. Students should also be prompted to share a couple of positive statements about themselves and others, with regard to their bodily appearances. This intelligent exercise can help students develop a positive sense of well-being. They will then be able to brush aside unwanted and harmful effects of diets with an intention to be accepted by their peers.

Key Takeaways

Technology that is impacting every sphere of human life has a widespread influence on the lives of pupils. While students are tending to the digital world to learn, it pays to safeguard them from the challenges posed by technological advancements. It is as if they are breathing technology in every step they take. With so much going in favor of digital media, it is also important to prepare them for the threats that are a part of this emerging educational trend. All these are possible by relying on digital literacy as the whistleblower of online learning platforms.

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