Digital literacy has become one of the most important skill sets for kids of all ages to have. We live in a time where technology influences practically every part of our daily lives, and it is difficult to imagine our life without it. It is not unusual that kids today use smartphones, tablets, and computers for a variety of purposes. In this post, we will learn in depth about digital literacy’s meaning, its advantages, and more.
What is Digital Literacy?
Digital Literacy can be referred to as an ability to understand, use and access information available on various digital devices. Digital literacy examples include the ability to use various tools and technology by applying one’s cognitive ability, while understanding online safety, digital searching, managing personal information and collaborating with other following etiquettes.
What is the Difference between Traditional Literacy and Digital Literacy?
Traditional literacy and digital literacy are two different kinds of literacy that have changed with the passage of time. The differences between both can be presented as below:
|It involves reading, writing and understanding the printed text.||It involves effectively and efficiently using digital tools and technology.|
|The medium of communication is via printed media such as books, letters and newspapers.||The medium of communication is via digital formats like e-books, online articles and websites.|
|Traditional Literacy often involves face-to-face or written communication.||It involves digital communication such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and social media platforms.|
|It has limited access to information.||Digital Literacy has unlimited access to information.|
Benefits of Basic Digital Literacy Skills for Kids
Digital Literacy Skills has undoubtedly become one of the most essential skills for kids to possess today. It not only prepares them for a competitive world but puts them in a better position to understand the dynamics of the evolving technological world and subsequently instil confidence. Here are some of most important benefits of teaching Basic Digital Literacy Skills for Kids
Enhancing Educational Opportunities
The digital space is filled with knowledge, information, ideas and all the latest happening around the world. Digital literacy offers a wonderful opportunity to kids to access and explore this huge range of information and expand their learning horizons by not just being restricted to books or traditional forms of learning.
Fostering Creativity and Innovation
Kids are naturally curious and full of ideas. Digital literacy gives them a space to express themselves or their ideas in any creative form they wish. It can be through digital designing, creating videos, games development, storytelling and more. Digital literacy gives them the freedom to explore their potential to the maximum.
Improving Communication Skills
It is unbelievable that digital literacy equips kids with effective communication and collaboration skills. Since there is no face-to-face interaction, they are forced to organise their thoughts and present in such a way that it is easier for other people to understand. They can also participate in online discussions and work on group projects via collaboration tools.
Bolstering Problem-Solving Skills
The fact that digital literacy requires kids to use cognitive skills is one of the major benefits. It requires them to think, analyse and evaluate various vast opportunities available and make the best decision. Kids are also required to troubleshoot technical issues encountered.
Preparing for the Future
It is obvious that the world is going digital day by day and technology is becoming one of the main factors in shaping various industries. Thus, when kids are equipped with basic digital literacy from a young age, it keeps them in a better position to adapt to new technology as they grow up and open to wonderful career opportunities.
How Do We Promote Digital Literacy Skills for Children in Classrooms?
The best way we can ensure that kids digitally literate is via promoting it in their regular classroom. Here are some of the ways we can promote digital literacy skills:
- Make use of various educational tools and technology while conducting a regular class to make it more interesting and interactive.
- Give kids the right tools and a reliable internet connection in the classroom so that they can explore more about the topics they physically learn in the digital world.
- Include a special period just like any other subjects to teach important topics related to digital literacy skills such as online search, internet safety, and digital communication.
- Give projects that require kids to make presentations, videos, design arts, websites, etc as well as projects that require to use digital resources.
- Use online tools and platforms that can be used to collaborate on projects while promoting teamwork and effective communication.
What Are the Basic Digital Literacy Skills Children Need?
Here are some of the basic digital literacy skills that every kid must possess.
Keyboard can be considered as a basic input device used with a computer. Thus, kids must be familiar with its layout, locate keys when needed, type efficiently and quickly.
Kids will spend a large amount of time on the internet. Thus, they must know how to use a browser, open sites, do searches, download resources as well as various basic navigation options.
Basic Computer Operation
Basic Computer Operation involves switching on and off technical devices, using mouse and keyboards, understanding of different components of the desktop, etc.
Online research has become very common for kids of all ages. It includes knowing to search about topics effectively, using genuine search engines from a trustworthy site.
When kids are online, they are also exposed to a number of threats. It is important to recognise such threats and avoid them. Also, they must know how to keep their personal information safe and the importance of having a strong password.
Kids must be able to use different digital communication platforms and use it effectively. They must be able to craft emails, send texts or video messages by adhering to online etiquette.
To conclude, basic digital literacy skills are indeed the stepping stones that empower kids to explore and excel in the digital age. It not only opens the door to numerous wonderful career opportunities, but also equips kids with other life skills by making them a critical thinker, and a responsible user of the technology.
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