The changes happening in the world due to the revolution in the digital world has seen changes in the field of education too. Digital information available in the form of images, web links, videos etc., offer a variety of messages. Teachers and educational institutions have a major role to play in making the modern generation digitally fluent, to create positive outcomes. This blog post gives a brief synopsis of the relevance of gaining digital fluency, to access the wide world of digital information, especially in relation to the current Australian curriculum.
Digital information is abundant and teachers and parents could guide the children, to make them digitally fluent in a safe environment. Teachers and parents have to make a deliberate effort to learn the skills to make themselves digitally fluent before they can instill it in the children. As cited by Howell, (2013), teachers should aim to make the ‘The Technology Neophytes’ in the Primary classes from Year 4, digitally fluent and digitally capable learners. From Year 4 to Year 7, students reinforce the skills they have acquired for digital fluency. Digital fluency is created in learners through scaffolding in the form of creative activity, purposeful activity and experimental activity (Howell, 2013).
Digital information has emerged as the most common form of reading and storing data, which can be easily made available and easily accessed. Tredinnik, (2006) & Tran (2015) have cited the challenges raised by digital information. While Tredinnik, (2006) cited the vast possibility of duplicating digital information, Tran (2015) cited the challenges faced by the Libraries in upgrading the facilities and the staff qualifications, to cater to the need of the modern world of digital information.
The new Australian curriculum prioritizes the use of technology in Education. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has outlined information and communication technology competence as one of the general capabilities, to be incorporated into each learning area (Australian Curriculum, n.d.). Children today who are digital natives use the internet for games, social networking and watching movies. Teachers and parents have a major role to play in guiding the children to use the digital information, for positive learning outcomes (White,2013). White (2013) suggests that digital fluency can be achieved with the help of a K-12 digital fluency subject, which includes topics like acceptable behaviour, ethics, digital commons and copyright, digital skills etc. Personal experience reveals that this is being practised in schools in some parts of the world as seen in the below picture, and students and teachers are learning the skills to be digitally fluent in the complex skills like web designing.
The latest changes to the Australian Curriculum, including the introduction of multi modal texts, could be a major move to make students and teachers digitally fluent. The activities in each subject area are closely tied to the curriculum and there are clear learning objectives. By the end of Year 12, students are trained to become technological innovators. The new curriculum makes use of the vast resource of digital information, to hone the digital skills of their students. Thus we hope to see a future generation of digitally fluent people, who can make use of the digital information in a meaningful manner.
Interesting Links on the topic
Australian Curriculum. (n.d.). General capabilities. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/general-capabilities
Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au
Pixabay.(n.d.).Tablet helps store a library of books[ image].Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/tablet-hands-keep-books-computer-1632909/
Pixabay.(n.d.). School in China using technology in class [image].Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/classroom-school-china-asia-467730/
Tran, H. A. T. (2015). Challenges in the digital information era. Library Management, 36(4), 315-328. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/1684384541?accountid=10382
Tredinnick, L .(2006).Digital information contexts: theoretical approaches to understanding digital Information. Oxford: Chandos. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/book/9781843341598 on 14th September 2016.
White, G .(2013).Digital fluency for the digital age. Retrieved from https://rd.acer.edu.au/article/digital-fluency-for-the-digital-age