5 Strategies for Developing Digital Literacy in a Generation That Takes Tech for Granted

It’s commonplace to be impressed when we hear of excellent test scores and educational backgrounds from top institutes, no matter the type of degree or accolades. However, preparing our kids with test-taking strategies and admission into the best universities is not enough–and will be an extinct ideology with the changing demands of society and global economy.

1. Stress the importance of coding and basic technology application skills. In today’s world, the “mother tongue”—or, better said, the “lingua franca”–is found in coding and basic tech skills needed to communicate with the devices in the Internet of Things. Any child not equipped to speak this new language of coding will be lost.

2. Encourage innovation by revising vs. reinventing the wheel. We must push students towards innovation and understanding the operation and design of how devices work. Innovation does not occur serendipitously, but rather through the application of existing knowledge to new circumstances or needs.

3. Teach students how to determine the reason-ability of an answer. Nowadays, it’s less important to own content knowledge; a greater emphasis is on asking the right question to get useful information from search engines and knowing how to acquire knowledge. There are many correct answers out there. However, there are fewer effective or reasonable correct answers.  A new digital literacy skill we have to prepare young minds for is how to sift and sort through data to determine the reason-ability of an answer.

4. Prioritize student engagement over all else. Nowadays, teachers and parents worry about the amount of time children are spending in front of the screen. Technology is not so much about screen time as it is about the experience. Research shows that children learn preferentially in the kinesthetic or hands-on domain.

5. Push for access to technological resources and solutions in schools. For schools without access to technological resources and solutions and even for those fortunate to have the resources, it is important to seek support from the community. The community is comprised of stakeholders willing to get involved in the education of children as sources of mentoring, success definition, and economic impact on the community.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Stephan Turnipseed in e School News, follow this link for the complete article and more details.