Digital Fluency

Learning in the 21st Century has moved from traditional teaching methods to more technologically driven. Providing students with digital fluency is essential for life long learning. It enables them to be better engaged and participate in society; it will also assist them in the future to secure employment (White, 2013, p.7.).   But what exactly is digital fluency, and as educators how can we ensure that we are providing students with the necessary tools to become digitally fluent?

A digitally fluent student is one that can swiftly, accurately and purposely, create, communicate and collaborate across platforms with ease (Holland, 2013).   In her book Teaching with ICT, Howell (2012, p.133) describes a Grade 4 student as being a ‘technology neophyte’, which is someone who has a good understanding of the basics of technology and who is ready for more progressive learning.   It is expected that by the end of primary school or early secondary school students will become digitally fluent learners.   Howell (2013, p.149) also states that in order to ensure students become digital fluent, educators need to incorporate digital technologies and programs into their classrooms and assessments.   While there are endless possibilities to utilise a variety of digital resources or programs, it is important that foundational programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint are introduced into their learning. These programs will provide the students with skills and experiences that will assist them in life outside of school and in the workforce.

As a pre service teacher in Early Education I need to ensure that I construct my lessons in such a way that will enable the students to become digitally fluent. Three strategies which I could implement in the classroom to help establish digital fluency would be to provide more student led classes which will enable students to source their own content knowledge; Equip students with only partial instructions so that they become competent problem solvers; and lastly, encourage students to become forward learners and empower them to share their solutions with others (Holland, 2013).

 

References:

Holland, B. (2013). Building Technology Fluency: Preparing Students to be Digital Learners. Retrieved on April 12 2016 from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-tech-fluency-digital-learners-beth-holland

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT, Digital Pedagogies for Collaboratin and Creativiity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

White, Gerald K. (2013 Digital Fluencey ; Skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Melbourne. ACER. Retrevied from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning

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