In 2021, digital literacy has become an essential skill in the world. We’re literally surrounded by a world that is virtual and digitalized. Digitalization that in fact, helped us connect and collaborate, and it has granted us opportunities and the chance to learn about important issues.
Most significantly, it has helped us innovate and transform our lives into something that was considered impossible a few decades ago.
No one can argue that the advancement of technology has not permeated every aspect of our lives. This skill is mandated at the workplace, it gives you an edge in your everyday life, and it’s also necessary for schools – simply look at how handy it came during the pandemic.
It’s critical to understand that digital literacy is essential in the classroom – for both students and teachers. It’s a driving force that helps you thrive in every sector of life. Some people even argue that it is an important life skill.
Digital Literacy a Necessity?
In classrooms, students must be taught how to interact with and use digital knowledge. They must be equipped with the knowledge of the technology surrounding them as it will later help them navigate through life which is outside the compounds of school.
Do you know that the current education policy of the UK is failing to address the requirements that will be set by the fourth wave of the industrial revolution? This wave will impact all industries and economic conditions, so do we really want to let the new breed of workforces go into the work ill-equipped and confused?
In addition, we’re all aware of the anxiety that is provoked by the internet – it impacts children the most as they’re young and impressionable. We know that the future is going to be digitalized and so it is absolutely necessary for us to teach our kids how to survive in a world that is dominated by technology. We have to come to terms with the fact that digital skills are as important as reading and writing skills.
What do we learn from digital literacy?
It’s honestly strange to see so many people be afraid of digitalization. There are thousands of conspiracy theories supporting the notion that technology is bad for you and that it will take over the world one day and devoid us of the very fabric that makes us human.
Are we afraid of everything that we don’t understand?
Look, from where we look at things, digital literacy is actually great for you. It helps you learn how to collaborate and work with others – strengthening your interpersonal skills and team-building credibility. It sparks up your creativity and helps you ask the right questions.
Do you know what you need to come up with newer ideas? Its creativity and an individualistic perspective – something digital literacy has shown to support time and again.
Like we said before, digital literacy will help you ask the right questions – for that, you need to be able to evaluate and form articulate arguments. Critical thinking is another advantage that you benefit from – you learn to identify patterns and deconstruct abstract and meaningful information and codes.
Above everything else, digital literacy helps in building your character and improving your communication standard. It gives you the edge that you need to survive in this competitive world. It instils resilience and perseverance and makes it an integral part of your life.
You need to be able to communicate your problems effectively and that is exactly what digital literacy grants you. You get to apply a variety of methods to simply put forward your thoughts and ideas and that to a diverse audience.
How can we achieve our purpose?
We need to start slow. Take gradual but concrete steps. The most important thing that you need to do is teach your students the ethics and ground rules of the internet and the online world.
Do they know how to protect themselves? Are they aware that there are strict rules about online safety? We need to train our students and teach them about cyberbullying, identity theft and threats. Thus, always start by internet grooming so that the young minds know that they’re not alone.
Ever since Trump, “fake news” has become a serious thing. But it’s sad to know that it’s not limited to politicians and memes. Fake news is real and teachers must teach their students about this. Teach them why it’s important to verify every bit of information present online and why it’s important.
At the end of the day, you don’t want your students to seek “do my assignment for me” facilities that are available online and can potentially threaten their security and grades. You need to tell them how to distinguish credible sites from scams – fake news and fake sites are real!