Written Summation: Digital Fluency – Topic 6
Digital fluency is required in many aspects of life, and as the years go by and technology develops even further, it will be quite difficult to get by without being digitally fluent. We must prepare the children of today, of which are born immersed in technology, for the ever-growing sector of employment opportunities, some of which do not even exist yet (Mac Manus, 2013). We all start off as technology neophytes (beginners), and even though we may have a solid background in the basics, we are far from digitally fluent.
“Being fluent requires competencies and capabilities that go beyond the skill level. Someone who is digitally fluent not only selects tools and knows what to do with them, but can explain why they work in the way they do and how they might adapt what they do if the context were to change” (Spencer, 2015).
Being digitally literate, and teaching students to be digitally literate can be achieved with the combination of three subjects (Casey, 2014):
- Thinking critically about what you do digitally, being aware of how to navigate the web, gather information and move forwards to further learning.
- Being collaborative online. Working and communicating with other peoples’ perspectives and ideas, and being able to build on those ideas in a manner which helps build your own knowledge and learning.
- Creativity means not only using what information you have available online, but also creating your own content which is relevant and ethical. Helping others to build their own understanding and learning is just as much a part of being digitally fluent as building your own.
Through engaging in creative, experimental, and purposeful activity, we can develop and scaffold digital learning, creating more digitally literal learners (Howell, 2013). With activities which include more traditional learning methods, like writing, storytelling, and peer reviewing, in a collaborative fashion, we can scaffold digital learning without forcing traditional concepts to take a back seat (New Zealand Ministry of Education, n.d.).
Digital collaboration not only encourages students to share ideas, but also empowers them to share their information and take on leadership roles. We are quipping them with the skills to troubleshoot, not only the devices they are familiar with, but also ones that haven’t even been created yet. We are setting students up with the tools to be able to communicate efficiently, create, and collaborate across whichever platforms they may come across in the future.
The Global Digital Citizen Fountadion works with educators in many countries helping them develop modern learning environments in their schools and classrooms, ones that guide students towards taking ownership for their learning.
Casey, Esther. (2014). What does digital literacy look like? [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.edtalks.org/#/video/what-does-digital-literacy-look
CORE Ministry Video. (n.d.). Developing key competencies through writing collaborations [Video File]. Retrieved from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Digital-fluency#js-tabcontainer-1-tab-2
Holland, Beth. (2013) Building Technology Fluency: Preparing Students to be Digital Learners. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-tech-fluency-digital-learners-beth-holland
Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Mac Manus, Sinead. 2013. Getting young people fluent in digital. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital
Spencer, Karen. (2015). What is digital fluency? Retrieved from https://karenmelhuishspencer.com/2015/10/30/what-is-digital-fluency/