What do you think of when you think of the term literacy? Like most humans, you probably think of literacy as 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."
With the shift to the digital world, teaching is 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 in order to develop them into humans that contribute to society while still keeping them safe. So, what goes into digital literacy?
Technology and the Internet
Our students are the epitome of digital citizens. They are digital citizens who have grown up with technology and because of this, they live and learn in a world full of tech. 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.
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 pretty serious crimes unknowingly.
Explaining the Concept of a Digital
Students, like a lot of other people, usually don’t have a grasp on 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 the most important things that students need to learn when learning about digital literacy. Like 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 on both the teacher and the student. With Netop Vision, 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.