Digital Fluency is a digital mindset in our students, giving them the tools to be curious about the digital space and continue their learning journey long after school has finished (Howell, 2012; Makice, 2012). Creating a digitally fluent student can present challenges to teachers as they are going to have students who either feel they are, or actually are, more technologically savvy then teachers and adults. The challenge for the teachers is to develop an understanding in children that technology can have many more uses then social interaction or leisure time, which is a hard sell if they feel they are more clued in then the teacher.
Proof to the importance of becoming a digitally fluent citizen can be seen through the efforts of an organisation called ‘Fluency’. This organisation has the goal to raise the digital fluency of unemployed youth, something which has great effects on their job prospects. While these youth may have had access to some form of technology, daily dealings with Facebook etc. and no other appropriate technological scaffolding leaves young students in a place where they may not know how technology can help them search for a job, by honing their technological skills new opportunities also opens up (Mac Manus, 2013). A student without the appropriate development can leave themselves vulnerable to disadvantage in the future.
Another way the importance of digital fluency can be seen is through our digital identities in a digital world stresses the point that we need to be digitally fluent. I have previously discussed the impact our digital identities can have on our actual lives, forming a part of who we are (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, n.d.), this implies that a person’s digital fluency can effect what makes them as a person now and into the future. Given the importance of digital fluency teachers must ensure that they incorporate technology in the classroom and encourage its use outside the classroom too (Howell, 2012).
For more information on Digital fluency please look into the following links
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT : Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Irving K Barber Learning Centre. (n.d.). Digital tattoo. Retrieved from http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/protect/prevent-cyberbullying/
Lofte, L. (2012). Brace yourself, and your iPhone, for back-to-school. [image]. Retrieved from http://www.imore.com/brace-yourself-iphone-back-to-school
Mac Manus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital
Makice, K. (2012). Digital Fluency. Retrieved from http://www.pinterest.com/kmakice/digital-fluency/