The meaning of digital literacy has changed over the course of years. Digital literacy gives educators the chance to combine their technological as well as educational expertise which helps the students become more familiar with digital tools. Here are 5 reasons why digital literacy is important for teachers in today’s world.
1. Creates more opportunities for collaboration
Teachers incorporate collaboration in their lectures to engage students and to help them have academic discussions with their classmates. Digital literacy provides numerous opportunities for collaboration as students can create presentations and share notes via cloud-based software or discuss topics through messaging apps with teachers. These collaboration methods give teachers the amazing opportunity to teach their students how to communicate effectively with the help of digital literacy.
2. Enhances student engagement
When teachers implement digital literacy, it helps keep the students engaged in their lessons. Technology is a part of everyone’s daily life, it plays a fundamental role in our routine. Hence, utilizing digital mediums such as podcasts, networking opportunities and blog posts provides a modern approach and solution to engaging students in the classroom.
3. Motivating proper usage of digital media
Students are proficient in using various apps and websites. But in many cases, students fall victim to online scams, or they cannot fathom the potential of an application. It is the responsibility of a teacher to help their students use their digital knowledge wisely and appropriately. Digitally literate teachers would know how to inspire the students to use today’s technology as a powerful toolset to expand their learning opportunities.
4. Moving beyond Google
While Google is a powerful tool used by many. Students who have access to a computer and internet connection can find answers to almost everything. But there is a significant difference between Googling an answer and understanding its literal meaning. Googling an answer to complex topics may not be as helpful to students as it seems because it doesn’t provide true and deep learning. It is up to the teachers to help provide the students with additional skills to bring answers to the next level. This can be done if the teachers try to teach the students on how to evaluate and question their sources because they need to know which is a trustworthy source and which is not. Teachers can also push their students to a new level of creativity and teach students how to draw strong conclusions.
5. Enabling differentiation
Differentiation is required in a classroom as it is essential in meeting the needs of the learners. Technology can be used for various reasons but when it is used correctly and creatively, it can be used to mitigate the differences such as in one-to-one classrooms. Teachers can lead the class through a lecture while students can follow along the illustrations on their computers and audio learners can record the whole lecture for reviewing it later. Technology enables teachers to give their students a choice in the kind of work they create for projects which can include podcasts, written stories, or video illustrations. Digital literacy allows teachers to understand that it is less about the technology but rather it is more about the tailored experiences which the technology can provide for a student. This is what drives differentiation in a classroom. It is quite powerful as it is targeted at students’ individual needs.