Digital literacy is quite a buzzword in education circles. Take a look at the promotional material of any school in Singapore, and digital literacy is almost always a part of the campaign. However, for those institutions that take digital learning seriously, it is not all about just the use of interactive smart classes or ipads and macbooks for homework assignments. As per Cornell University, digital literacy is “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet." Similar definitions are out there explaining the concept in a couple of sentences, however Digital Literacy is much more intricate.
It starts with access to basic technology in the classrooms. It includes digital devices like laptops, desktops, ipads etc for daily use in the classrooms. Being digitally literate implies the similar ability to read and write, but sans the paper, pencil, books and lectures. With use of personal e-devices in classrooms, having a class internet page, a blog to discuss class activities, digital calendar of upcoming events and the like is a given. A tool to assess a student’s learning progress all this while, allows for up-to-date information at any point in time.
Education is going where students are, and they are spending more time on social media. It can be a great place to meet and discuss relevant topics. Schools are constantly increasing their social media presence via facebook and twitter for the same reasons. Also, a strong cloud computing support is inevitable in a digitally charged environment. Being able to access lessons across devices and locations helps students to seamlessly access their learning material and share it easily as well. Collaboration is no longer restricted to being physically present in each other’s company. With digital databases, students are able to collaborate with much ease and efficiency.
With so much information available online, how to act in a digital world is of great importance. Being digitally literate also means how to be a responsible digital citizen and being aware of one’s rights. It includes things like Cyberbullying, privacy and content, online purchases and use of licenses, legality of online material and digital footprints.
With the internet era, getting hold of information is no longer a difficult task, but how to make use of all the data at hand is of prime importance and a skill to learn. This is one of the main motives of digital literacy. Locating, evaluating, using and adding value to an existing information is a part of the rich and interactive digital learning environment. Schools like the Canadian International School are known for their digital teaching and learning aids in classrooms and beyond. The school is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School and has adopted their Scope & Sequence: K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum helping students stay safe and act responsibly online. Digital literacy is a great propeller to learning and is surely transforming the way educators are taking lessons in classrooms(and beyond) and students are learning. With fast paced changes in this landscape, it will be fascinating to experience what more digitization in education brings in for the future generations.For more information kindly visit canadian school singapore