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.