What do you think of when you think of the term literacy? Like most people, you probably think of literacy as a person having the ability to read and write. While this is true in one form, the idea of literacy takes on a new definition in the digital world. Cornell University describes digital literacy as “The ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.”
As the world is shifting to a digital one, teaching is also shifting to a digital environment. We can no longer just teach students literacy in its original form. We need to teach our students digital literacy to prepare them for a world that technology is ingrained into. If we don’t do this, it is going to be hard to keep them safe.
Digital literacy keeps our students safe. Let’s look at what goes into digital literacy and how to teach it.
Technology and the Internet
Our students are the epitome of digital citizens. They live and learn in a world full of tech and have done so since they were little. As educators, we need to encourage students to learn in a way that allows them to be creative and take advantage of the skills they already have and the ones they have yet to develop. By encouraging students to use technology to learn in the classroom, we are encouraging them to take control of their learning. It is important to take advantage of the devices our schools provide to our students.
Evaluating and Using Resources
One of the most important things that needs to happen when teaching digital literacy is teaching students how to evaluate and use resources. Teach a student to take a deeper look at the sources at their fingertips to see if they are reputable and worth using. Teach them that not everything they see on the internet is right or true. There is so much fake information available on the internet. Adults and children alike fall for it every day.
Along with teaching students how to evaluate and choose resources, we need to teach them how to use them ethically. Students need to learn how to quote and cite sources correctly, so they are not stealing other peoples’ intellectual property. Without teaching them these things, they could commit some serious crimes unknowingly.
Explaining the Concept of a Digital
Students, like a lot of other people, usually don’t have a complete grasp of the idea of a digital footprint. If students don’t understand the concept of a digital footprint, they are not going to understand how their actions on the internet are something that lasts forever. Students don’t realize that everything they post on the internet stays on the internet. Digital literacy also teaches students the extremely important concepts of IP addresses, cookies, and browsing histories.
How to Communicate Online
How to communicate online is easily one of the most important things that students need to learn when learning about digital literacy. As we mentioned before, what you post online never goes away, and that includes how and where you are communicating online.
Just like people need to be kind, considerate, and appropriate when communicating in person, they need to do the same thing online. Teaching students how to properly communicate in the digital world will help keep them out of trouble and keep them safe.
Digital Literacy and Classroom Management Software
Teaching digital literacy takes both time and effort. However, it can be made easier. Using tools like classroom management software makes it easier for both the teacher and the student. With Impero Classroom, you are able to push out links and resources that will help teach your students digital literacy. You are also able to monitor what your students are doing on their own screens and make sure they are being good digital citizens. If they are not, you have the chance to jump in.
To learn more about Classroom, book a demo here.
To learn more about how to keep students safe on their digital devices, click here.