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What is digital fluency? Well to be fluent, you need to be confident, efficient and accurate and in the digital world, to be fluent, you have to have competencies with technology as if it was natural.
Today’s generation are “digital natives”, as described by Prensky (2001) and it is no surprise that they are fluent in the use of technology considering the vast amount of time they invest into technology and the technology at their disposal. From the moment children starts exploring, they are exposed to a wide range of technology ranging from interactive apps on mobile devices or learning through the television with shows such as Sesame Street.
Statistics from Marc Prensky (2001) shows that today’s students – K through college –have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives.
Students expect their learning to be fun and engaging with the use of technology in the classroom. A student from Prensky’s panel (2001) said “Technology helps — it strengthens interactions so we can always stay in touch and play with other people. I’ve never gone a day without talking to my friends online.”
So how might teachers incorporate technologies in the classroom and produce students that are digitally fluent for the 21st century and meeting the demands of the job market? Starting from primary school, students learn how to switch on the computer and engage with interactive smartboards or engaging in narrative stories with Microsoft Word. Throughout their high school years, they further enhance their skills through research, using excel or spreadsheets to graph, present information in a variety of format, make presentations, writing blogs, essays, podcast and even learning how to search for information effectively through key terms or understanding which sources are reliable.
Technology is an integral part of our lives and can be incorporated into lessons to make our lives easier. Microsoft word for example is a great tool for writing so teachers can plan lessons for students such as creative writing, journals, letters, reports and much more. Creating posters can be done in a variety of tools such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe programs/ Photoshop. Creating 3-D images or plans for projects can also be easily done on program such as Sketch Up and even Minecraft can be used for designing buildings. Being digital fluent means to incorporate technology in our everyday lives with ease and both teachers and students can benefit from incorporating technology to nurture students to become competent members of society with technology skills needed in the 21st Century.
In addition, view
Digital Fluency. (2016) Digital skills Image retrieved from https://theclassroomkelpie.files.wordpress.com2016/04/consulting.jpg?w=295&h=295
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & Creativity. Australia: Oxford University Press.
Prensky. M. (2008, May 22). The 21st-century digital learner. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008
Spencer, K. (2018). What is digital fluency? Blog.core-ed.org. Retrieved 28 April 2018, from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html