Supporting Digital Literacy in the Classroom

Supporting Digital Literacy in the Classroom

Having the ability to find/use information and communicate using digital technology is essential in today's world. With educational technology becoming increasingly popular in the classroom, it's important that both teachers and students are digitally literate. Integrating technology into the classroom can be difficult for teachers with little technology experience, and even though most students in today's schools grow up using technology, they don't always learn all of the skills they need to be digitally literate.

Top Five Digital Literacy Priorities for Teachers and Children

So, what do you need to know to be considered digitally literate? In Digital Decisions, Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth list the top five priorities teachers and children need to learn about in order to develop digital literacy:

  1. Basic hardware and software skills
  2. Internet skills
  3. Online safety, security, and privacy
  4. Media literacy: communication and locating and analyzing credible information online
  5. Online consumer awareness

It's important that you assess what you and your students know and need to learn about technology. As Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth point out in Digital Decisions, you'll likely spend more time helping children learn about online safety, media literacy, and consumer awareness than teaching them how to use hardware and software.

Helping Children Become Digitally Literate

Educational technology can be a great learning tool for students, but for them to truly make use of the technology tools you integrate into your classroom, you need to be intentional about technology use and plan experiences that help children develop digital literacy. In Digital Decisions, Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth share the following list of concepts you can teach children to help them become digitally literate:

  1. Children should learn to be intentional when they use technology.
  2. Children should learn to limit the time they spend using technology.
  3. Children should know how to navigate the Internet safely.
  4. Children should be able to Identify and avoid scams and enticing marketing.
  5. Children should use the Golden Rule, and treat others as they would like to be treated online.
  6. Children should know how to defend themselves against cyberbullying.

Be sure to read Digital Decisions or the technology articles in our Insights and Inspirations section for more tips and resources on integrating technology into your classroom. You can also view our latest technology products and resources in the Technology section of our website.