Previously, we talked about digital literacy and how it is important for your students in the online world. We mentioned how important it is to introduce digital literacy programs in early childhood education. This will prepare children with the skills they require to engage in technology responsibly. On top of that, introducing them to digital literacy programs will also equip them with the right knowledge to prosper in this ever-evolving digital world. Today we will be discussing ways to make your school more digitally literate.
Incorporating Digital Media in the Classroom
According to Dr. Mary Kalantzis, Dean of Education at Illinois University, educators today need to “harness the different modes of the digital revolution in order to be effective representers of knowledge.” Introducing information technology early enables children to access and become familiar with interactive smart learning tools. She further proceeds to state that learners must engage in all areas of digital media. This makes it the “core of teaching and learning”.
So, how do you improve digital literacy in your school?
There are three main areas your school can focus on to ensure your students can be taught to be digitally literate.
1. Get started for your classes
Before we get into the nitty and gritty, it is important to establish the fundamental tools and technology you need before introducing digital literacy to your students. Here are a few basic technical requirements.
a) Ensuring every student has a device
Not every student is privileged enough to have access to their own personal devices. Hence, it is important if the school is able to provide technological devices. This includes tablets, desktop computers, or laptops.
b) Email address set up
Once they have a device, help them to set up an email address. This will allow your students to be able to get emails from all the faculty as well as their classmates. Both with assignments and keeping in touch.
c) Preparing for the classroom
You will also need to prepare classroom websites, where students can view updates, events and assignments posted by teachers. Not to forget, digital calendars to update daily activities, due dates, and other important daily information.
2. Focusing on lesson plans
We understand that teachers already have so much on their plate. It can get frustrating to add another task on top of their already busy teaching schedules. However, it is important to note that digital literacy can not just be taught in theory. It isn’t just another subject to be added to the syllabus but to be practiced hands-on.
For instance, for history class, teachers can assign students with designated topics for them to carry out their own research. They can then create slides or short videos for peer teaching in the classroom. Another example would be introducing blogging in English classes. This could really be up to teachers, whether to assign random topics or have students post weekly entries. This not only helps students brush up on their writing skills but also advances digital literacy.
3. Creating online classrooms
This leads us to the next tip. Creating online classrooms. Thanks to the rise of education technology, the incorporation of collaborative learning such as student-led learning, and flipped classrooms are skyrocketing in schools.
The teaching and learning processes have been very much “modern” since the pandemic hit in 2019. Most if not all schools had to go completely online and this has indirectly helped students to be more digitally literate. Having to study on their own using online learning platforms with minimal guidance from teachers has taught students to be independent while improving their digital skills.
Creating more online or modern classrooms can also mean having teachers make their lessons more digital. Hence, teachers themselves must incorporate digital tools into their teaching. Digital tools has truly helped the education industry.
Despite the challenges teachers have to face in preparing children to be fluent in technology and enhance their digital literacy, it really has become the core of teaching and learning. Incorporating innovative, digital technologies into daily lesson plans will really benefit students. Not just in school but for their lifetime. They will be able to use these skills in the workforce and in their personal lives, and this is definitely worth investing in.