Auditory summation: Week 6, Digital Fluency.
While digital literacy refers to knowing how to use different digital tools, digital fluency is more than this. Digital fluency goes beyond the tools themselves and refers to knowing “when and why to use them” (https://au.pinterest.com/kmakice/digital-fluency/). Howell (2012) states that digital fluency is achieved by individuals developing the skills and expertise, at home and at school, across different “key programs and digital technologies” (p. 139). Simply put, digital fluency is being skilled and proficient with different digital tools, knowing how, when and why to use them.
Developing digital fluency in today’s students is of upmost importance. This can be seen in the new curriculum guidelines regarding technology and the endless flow of information and professional development training and programs for teachers. Furthermore, programs such as the National Digital Education Revolution are providing schools with computers and teachers with laptops (Howell, 2012, p. 131). Digital fluency develops a curiosity that inspires students to continue to engage in learning beyond their schooling years, becoming life-long learners (MacManus, 2013; Howell, 2012, p. 140).
Developing digital fluency is done by starting with students’ basic skill sets and working towards building proficiency across a wide range of technologies. It is important to introduce students to as many different types and styles of technology as possible (Howell, 2014). Howell’s (2012) “aspects of digital learning with technology” (p. 134) supplies a framework where digital fluency can be developed through weaving creative, experimental and purposeful activities with technology into all aspects of student learning.
Howell (2012) states that the desired outcomes of these activities is to produce “digital content creators, technology innovators and digitally fluent learners” (p. 135). Creative activities such as making videos or creating a blog, provide opportunities for students to collaborate on creating and sharing a product, resulting in digital content creators. Experimental activities require teachers to step back and allow students freedom to experiment and problem-solve, resulting in students becoming technology innovators (Howell, 2012, pp. 136-139). Providing these learning experiences, as well as having conversations with students that critically evaluate their experiences, is how digital fluency is developed in students.
Header image. (2017). [Image]. Retrieved from http://blog.realmatch.com/news-publishers/digital-disruption-now-seen-significantly-europe-australia-newspapers/
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Victoria: 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
MacManus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital