The Importance of Teaching Digital Literacy to K-12 Students
Digital literacy can engage learners in the process of learning in all aspects. Learners can utilize tech to help them recall new information. Learners could watch a video or create a video to demonstrate comprehension. Learners could create infographics to show processes. They could even utilize social media to interact with people around the globe.
Schools have the opportunity to help learners expand their knowledge beyond the four walls of the building. They help learners utilize critical thinking skills to evaluate the quality of digital sources and information, which in turn helps learners communicate better.
By teaching digital literacy to learners, they are being prepared to enter adulthood and be successful in their careers. This is part of being an excellent digital citizen. Many learners don’t understand the ramifications of poor digital citizenship. Because of this, it is up to teachers to show them how to become good digital citizens. If you want to know how to accomplish this, keep reading.
Digital literacy in the classroom
Many learners have access to a phone, tablet, or computer. So even if the school does not hand out devices, learners are still accessing information from around the globe through various sources. The challenge is to help train educators and parents about digital literacy so they can help learners navigate the digital world. Think about hosting afterschool seminars for parents and learners to come together to learn about how to utilize their devices properly. Use professional development to teach educators about digital literacy and how to relay the information to their learners.
Another essential aspect of digital literacy is digital citizenship. This involves teaching learners how to interact with their digital community properly and safely. Teach learners what it means to be an excellent digital citizen by explaining the potential consequences of a poorly thought-out post. Digital literacy also involves helping learners be more aware of cyberbullying—currently a huge concern for most learners and parents. Help learners think before they post something online.
Digital literacy and edtech
Tech has and is moving our globe forward at a rapid pace. Helping learners keep up with tech is part of digital literacy. Schools need to take the lead in teaching learners about their digital footprint.
Most of the jobs that are available for learners following their graduation are now being automated. There is a push for learners to learn more about STEM classes. More and more jobs require the employee to have a working knowledge of essential tech. These fields are growing rapidly. Jobs like software developer, statistician, and a civil or environmental engineer are just a few exciting STEM careers that require plenty of digital literacy to be able to complete the tasks.
If you are not teaching your students to be good digital citizens, then you are missing the mark. No worries, you still have time. Use the ideas that I have listed as a starting point; use Google to do more research.