How to Help Your Students Build Digital Fluency
Years ago, educators were tasked with teaching students the concept of how to read and write thoughtfully. The concept of literacy continues to evolve, and teachers are now facing a new and unique task that is pertinent to the modern age. In addition to traditional forms of literacy, teachers are now expected to help students build digital fluency and literacy as well. Digital fluency is going to be an essential skill for those entering the workforce in the coming years. After all, the majority of our information now comes through the internet instead of in print newspapers and magazines.
How can teachers help students to develop a sense of digital fluency in the classroom? It starts with rather small steps that build on one another to make students savvier consumers of internet information.
Teachers can start using digital methods to communicate.
Students spend a lot of their day attached to smartphones and computers. Schools can start to make good use of these hours by giving students opportunities to communicate with teachers online. This gives children a safe space to practice digital fluency under the watchful eye of an adult. You might consider allowing students to post answers to essay questions in an online forum, offering video calls for tutoring sessions, or recording videos they can watch at home for homework.
Use a classroom management app.
Programs like ClassDojo are rising in popularity for a reason. They are a simple way to start opening the door to greater digital fluency. Using these apps gives students and their parents an opportunity to become more comfortable checking their devices for information. You may see that they become more comfortable navigating their devices during classroom time. The program should be easy for teachers to use with just a few taps of a smartphone, and it serves a real purpose. Teachers can connect home and school much more easily with communication and classroom management apps like this one.
Teach critical reading skills.
Here is one area where traditional literacy and digital fluency go hand in hand. Students must become comfortable using critical reading skills to determine if they can trust information on the internet. Teach them what the different site addresses mean, how to search for multiple sources, and even to read the entire passage thoughtfully. It requires a lot of brain power to truly master the concept of digital fluency. Students need to become accustomed to looking at the information they find online with a critical eye.
Digital fluency is going to become much more important as our society continues to move toward a more digital world. Most of our work and daily tasks require the internet, so we must make sure that students are prepared to use it wisely. Teachers need to start incorporating digital fluency into the classroom to equip students with the knowledge they need for a more successful future.