The term ‘digital fluency’ refers to one being fluent in digital technologies, and being able to understand how to use the technologies and programs proficiently (Howell, 2014). Digital fluency is often something that is self-taught through trial and error, it could also be learnt at school or from family, friends and workplaces (Howell, 2014).
In Howell’s book “Teaching with ICT” she talks about “technology neophytes.” Howell (2012) explains that technology neophytes are students entering grade 4 who are beginners in digital technologies. These students have an understanding of the basics needed to use technology and they are now ready to extend to more complex and involved experiences that will further their skills (Howell, 2012).
Children growing up around digital technologies are likely to become fluent in using them. Allowing students to use these technologies in the classroom will benefit their fluency as well as their learning. Using technology to learn gives students the opportunity to research in many ways, they can research articles, documentaries, videos, images, graphs, surveys, read blogs and discussions, the list is endless! It opens up a whole new world of learning that students are interested in and excited about. Exposing students to frequent use of different technologies and active participation will increase and improve their digital fluency (Howell, 2014).
To be digitally fluent in today’s society is crucial when applying for work. Nearly every job available will require some digital fluency and it will only become a higher priority in the future. Encouraging children to engage in digital technologies and using them in the classroom today will sky rocket their chances of a favourable job in the future.
As future teachers, we must be aware of the importance of digital fluency and be willing to learn appropriate new technologies that arise (White, 2013). I am open to learning these new technologies to become as fluent as I can to help my future students.
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Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press
Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod 02 03 week 6 [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e48e0050
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White, G. (2013). Digital fluency for the digital age. Retrieved from https://rd.acer.edu.au/article/digital-fluency-for-the-digital-age