4TH PILLAR OF KNOWLEDGE: DIGITAL LITERACY
Kids today are using the immense power of digital media to explore variety of activities. These activities offer both awesome opportunities and potential pitfalls. Kids’ digital lives don’t stop at the school gates, either. The spillover can result in cyberbullying, digital cheating, and safety and security concerns. That’s why digital literacy is a uniquely important part of media literacy.
WHAT IS DIGITAL LITERACY?
Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and compose clear information through writing and other media on various digital platforms. Individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce text and image, audio and design using technology evaluates digital literacy. While digital literacy initially focused on digital skills and stand-alone computers, the use of social media. Similarly, to other expanding definitions of literacy that recognize cultural and historical ways of making meaning, digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. Instead, builds upon and expands the skills that form the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Digital literacy should be considered to be a part of the path to knowledge.
Students today are also being asked to create, collaborate, and share digital content and to do so responsibly. For these reasons, principals, school librarians, and teachers understand the importance of digital literacy skills for students and teaching digital literacy in the classroom.
READING ONLINE IS NOT DIGITAL LITERACY!
it’s important to note that simply reading online or subscribing to an eBook service does not make a student, digitally literate.
Yes, students can gain reading growth from online reading at every level. However, reading a book online, in most cases, is not much different than reading a print book. It simply replaces words on a page with text on a screen. It may only require that students know how to turn pages online. Essential digital literacy skills, as you can imagine, go so much further.
IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL LITERACY
Literacy skills have always been important. In centuries past, people communicated via letters. These letters soon turned into telegraph messages. From there we advanced to the telephone, internet and then text messaging via a phone. Today’s options for communication far outweigh the one or two of generations pasts.
Students in this modern world need to utilize all of the higher order thinking skills taught to students in previous times. Today’s students are able to use the internet to research and find text sources, videos, pod casts and presentations related to anything they would like to learn about. The big catch is, can this “Google, yahoo” part of the brain begin to differentiate what resources they consume online are valid or not.
The Emergence of a Class Called Digital Citizens
Students will be informed about how to indulge in a legitimate use of technology while they are interacting with their online contacts. It is through this section of education that you as a student will be better prepared to thrive in your area.
The E-Safety Cover
Most of the online lives of people are distorted; very far from reality. Drifting away from ethics, digital interfaces come in as thriving grounds for bullies and criminals. These anti-social elements try to rope in innocent youngsters and prompt them to accept fake information. It is also through misrepresented facts that a lot of children fall prey to such harmful netizens. The end result of such unlawful acts shows up in the form of mental health issues along with feelings of detachment and loneliness amongst students.
CREATING DIGITAL CONTENT
Students who are gaining digital literacy skills learn to become responsible content creators in addition to content consumers. They move beyond finding, evaluating, and consuming digital content to creating it. Including both writing in digital formats and creating other forms of media such as tweets, podcasts, videos, emails, and blogs.
Teachers today look for in-text tools that empower students to become effective creators of content. Likewise, as students learn to create, they also learn to question what others have created and shared.
As the term “digital literacy” is so wide-ranging, it can cause confusion. What exactly is someone talking about when he or she refers to digital literacy? Is it the consumption, creation, or communication of digital material? Or is that person discussing a particular digital tool? Do technology skills like computer coding fall under the digital-literacy umbrella as well?
Similarly, some experts prefer the term “digital literacies,” to convey the many facets of what reading and writing in the modern era entails.
“The concept should instead be considered plural—digital literacies—because the term implies multiple opportunities to leverage digital texts, tools, and multimodal representations for design, creation, play, and problem solving,” Jill Castek, a research assistant professor with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group at Portland State University, wrote in an email.
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