Digital Literacy in a 21st Century World

Technology brings an aspect of learning to schools and classrooms that brings to life concepts previously only seen in boring textbooks. Textbooks are not interactive and do not give students the ability to explore further. There information found in a textbook is what it is.  Through the implementation of technology, students can solve real-world problems and make connections with people elsewhere in the world. Instead of staying stuck within the pages of a book, students now have access to pretty unlimited resources online. Through multiple means of technology, the learning possibilities are endless.


Not only does technology in the classroom help bring the materials to life, but it teaches a sense of responsibility.  Teachers a
e shaping the use of technology in a safe environment, teaching proper research procedures and safety online. Without that lesson, students at home might get themselves into trouble by not realizing what they are doing is permanent and can hurt themselves and others around them. Technology is constantly evolving and bringing new meaning to our students.

When researching the importance of digital literacy in the current day and age I found many helpful resources. These included:

The NTCE Definition:
In this standard, students must be able to:
– Develop proficiency and fluency with tools of technology.
– Build cross-cultural connections to solve problems collaboratively.
– Design and share information to help globally.
– Process multiple sources of information for relevancy, usefulness, and validity.
– Interact on many levels with multimedia text.
– Be aware of ethics online.

Each of these is important in building a safe, competent user of technology in the current day and age. Students can interact with people across the world. The possibilities are endless. When there is that driving aspect of solving a real-world problem, it really brings about the relevancy of technology use and brings passion to the students.


Another article written by Rebecca Alber further examined how the use of technology can drive the interest and passions of students to learn.
– The topics of interest and importance become internalized more.
– Having a problem-based question drives research and learning.
– This learning method creates a deeper level of learning and comprehending.
– The learning is more than just reading/writing/speaking/hearing about history:
* Uses tools of technology.
* Develops relationships.
* Solves problems cross-culturally.
* It is as a hybrid use in presentation instead of a boring lecture.
A student’s thoughts on the usefulness of technology integration are insightful and make apparent the importance of learning in such a way.

Reading Rockets:
Finally, I finished with Reading Rockets, who put out statistics and facts on technology use as well as an amazing myth vs. reality sections.
– Many tests (standardized tests!!) are being conducted using technology.
– Many states are adopting K-12 technology standards.
– Universities/Community Colleges are using technology as a way to manage courses through online programs such as Canvas or Blackboard.
– > 80% of kindergarteners are already using technology.

What really struck me in learning about technology and the integration in schools is that curricular tests are often given on paper but the standardized tests we all dread so much are now given on computers/tablets/etc. Why don’t we practice in normal classroom testing instead of having them panic and struggle with unfamiliar technology during a high-pressure test?


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