What does it means to be digitally fluent?
As an educator, to become digitally fluent means to understand, participate and use digital technology well in a classroom and outside it. A growing need for using basic to more complex sets of technology is required and expected from educators in this electronic era (Howell, 2012). To be mindful of learning particular set of skills to actively engage your classes onto present and oncoming digital technologies is crucial. It’s important to keep up to date with and learn new ways to interact on academic technologies, and use your trial and error skills to learn effectively by playing around. As a future educator, I will prepare myself for students that will come into my class who may be more likely to know more about digital technology than I do. Therefore, It’s a task for us as educators to cater the needs for how our students learn best, technology is what they see everywhere, it’s what attracts the students attention. So why not learn how to teach with it effectively? Because at the end of the day, it’s important for teachers to know that they’ve taught their students the way they learn best.
Children are described as ‘technology neophytes’ meaning when they come into primary school, they have ground information on the basics of technology and are ready for more complex learning experiences with technology (Howell, 2012). The children who are born in the twenty-first century have been exposed to overwhelming amounts of digital technology. Students in this era are not the same students the curriculum was designed for (Digital natives, 2015). “Today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors” (Prensky, 2001a). They focus on graphics before text and rely on that to become fully engaged when learning something new. Digital learning has been shown to have a very positive effect on children as it provides motivation and intrinsic benefits to learn effectively. The first step to becoming digitally fluent involves you loving technology, along with being enthusiastic and open about it. Embracing your current skills and building upon, striving for more instead of resisting it, is the mindset needed for becoming a digitally sound educator (Howell, 2012).
Being fluent in using basic technologies which are used in the classroom such as, word, excel, PowerPoint etc aim to building skills and expanding learners digital experience is essential, however teachers nowadays need to adapt also to more complex technologies such as using piktochart, wordpress etc to ‘fit in’ and expand their teaching styles to more interesting ways for a better engaging classroom. Proper web-searching and using credible sources for everything they’re doing is a crucial thing they need to be well fluent in, in order to achieve high marks. As a future educator I will expose my students to a variety of digital technologies and forms to achieve that goal along with having a passion to learn more in a fast, digitally evolving world. These skills will be essential as students will heavily rely on digital technology when completing tasks such as, assignments and will further need these skills in the workplace.
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With the fast internet growth these days it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the amount of overwhelming information which is constantly being changed, being put up on the internet everyday (Flintoff, K., Mellow, P. & Clark, K. P. (2014). Therefore this topic focuses on us as educators to become equipped digital curators in order to get the best most filtered information for ourselves and for our students when we teach. “Curation is an act of creating new meaning by combining existing content with new perspective” (Minocha and Petre, 2012). As excellent curators we will be able to deliver the finest information ahead to our students. As educators our students rely heavily on the information we provide them with, and ninety percent of the time students will believe everything you tell them (academically). Therefore it’s a huge responsibility for us to make sure the information we deliver to them is a hundred percent accurate and up to date, and if it’s not in some cases, make sure you explain that too. For eg. if a website isn’t very reliable, but can be used as a source of broad information about a topic, such as (Wikipedia).
You’re going to find a variety of information on the internet as it’s becoming extremely sophisticated. Therefore wading through information to select what we need and that it’s credible and ignoring the irrelevant information is a skill itself (Flintoff, K., Mellow, P. & Clark, K. P. (2014). The need for digital curation tools is essential as they accommodate the teaching and learning goals, some of the main uses of digital curation tools include are, gathering web pages specific to the topic, filtering content to select the best material, publishing and sharing your collection with ease, allows you to edit and add comments as well as providing a comment stream for the audience to nurture discussion around the article and much more (De Rossi & Good, 2010). Website like Scoop it and Pintrest are highly used examples for curating specific information. These tools are a valuable usage inside the classroom as they encourage critical thinking and analysis skills, engaging more broadly across a topic.
It’s essential for students to be able to know how to curate effectively, as it saves there time and they have the satisfaction of knowing they have the best most filtered information. Curation is a skill that should be acquired in order to become digitally literate. Therefore as an educator, it’s important to teach my students how to creatively filter content by providing alternative curation methods and seep understanding of why curation is needed.
Here’s a video explaining how to curate effectively,
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This topic focuses on how we present ourselves as digital identities for the world to see. As you know the internet is a free place, you can do anything you want on it and be anybody you would like to be on it. It’s not hard to change your identity on the internet. Managing your digital information online, really depends and underlies upon the information you give out about yourself online in the first place, if you’re giving out too much, you will eventually have no control over it (Howell, 2015). Privacy is the main factor that should be focused on. If you don’t want the whole world to see what you like, dislike or post supposedly on ‘Facebook’ than you should probably think twice about putting yourself out there on public. That being said, as a professional person, knowing whatever you post on the internet, is not yours anymore (Jutt, 2010) you shouldn’t post anything you know isn’t appropriate or proffessional, could somehow be found by anyone, so be careful about that. Learn about the privacy settings you have been provided with in each website you use, and make good use of it.
It’s extremely important to teach your students how to become digitally safe when they use the internet. They need to be understand the consequences of their actions and be aware of what they do online, and how easily it can be spread around. As an educator, i will teach them information about warning signs and also recommend them on what they should and shouldn’t post/share online. i would also make sure they know their privacy settings inside, out.
Being a teacher is a very public job. Therefore it’s important to have a private account for everything and an account that is somewhat more public so your peers, students or anyone professional could contact you on. It’s quite essential you do that in order to have a separate life to your personal life so you don’t feel like you have devoted your life to one way of living. Remember your digital identity is how people will judge and see you, so an educator for me it’s important I am not giving out too much private information about myself on public accounts and not doing, saying or posting anything that could or may offend someone, because that is the main con about being public, you are a target to everyone’s emotions and your opinion’s or actions may not please everyone. Therefore precautions should be taken when you’re online, to avoid hassles, respecting yourself and other people online is the key to managing your digital identity,
Here’s a video on what is your digital identity,
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