Hello and welcome to another quick Tech in Ed podcast, today we are exploring the topic of digital fluency and how to tell if students are achieving it.
So what is digital fluency? And what criteria do our students need to meet in order to be digitally fluent?
Put simply digital fluency is the ability to use technology well, to be able to express your ideas and thoughts in a ever growing technological world (Karen Spencer, 2015). I was recently looking at a book called Teaching with ICT by Jennifer Howell and I came across this really useful table (Howell, 2012, p.139, Table 8.2) that had a list of key skills highlighting to me what it means to be digitally fluent and for this podcast I would like to share some of the most relevant points with you.
First on the list was being able to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. proficiently, all that Microsoft know how which I believe is necessary if students ever plan on having a desk job. Adding to that point, I reckon that touch typing should be something students familiarise themselves with as being able to type fast and efficiently is crucial to career performance. An important skill on the list was understanding the benefits and risks of social media, cyber bullying is a big problem when it comes to how students use social media and as teachers we should be mindful that students don’t fully understand the consequences of their words. The next one that stood out to me was in my mind super important, I reckon everyone should be able to do this, that is to be able to create videos and podcasts. I find that it empowers students to be able to share their ideas and to create their own original work through the creation of a video.
That finishes the list. But if you think that there are other skills students should learn to be considered digitally fluent feel free to drop them down below in the comments.
See you next time on Tech Ed
When creating the podcast I found slightly awkward to talk by myself and I didn’t really know how to script a solo podcast. Using SoundCloud to post my podcast was the best option as uploading a track is simple as well as the fact that WordPress supports embedding of SoundCloud tracks. I believe that teachers should be teaching students digital fluency skills even though the curriculum doesn’t specify that they should aim to improve students digital literacy skills (Howell, 2012, p.44). I personally believe the ability to type fast and effortlessly (touch typing) is a crucial skill that students should be taught at a young age as employees expect this level of digital fluency in their workplace (Howell, 2012, p.62).
Howell J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Australia: Oxford University Press Australia.
Karen Spencer. (October, 2015) What is digital fluency? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html on the 5th of May 2018.