Please click link above to watch my presentation on Digital Fluency
Welcome to the digital world, to succeed on the internet you must be able to speak its language and to get anything out of the technology, you’ll have to know how to use them effectively. When a person can do this, they are said to be digitally fluent (Howell, 2012). Just like when visiting another country that speaks a different language you must learn parts of their language to get around; the same can be said with the internet. There are many unique words and phrases often taken for granted by digitally fluent people that make it hard for new users to use this technology. Age is a common example of this, people that have not grown up in the new digital age are not familiar with terms associated with computers and digital technology, therefore making the learning experience longer and at times frustrating.
For a person to be digitally fluent they have a mastery of the digital language, it is different to just being digitally literate (Manus, 2013). Being digitally fluent means, you can create, explore efficiently online and problem solve when placed in situations unfamiliar to previous times. Teachers are needed to be digitally fluent as they are the ones facilitating and growing others digital fluency and for them to that they are expected to overcome a vast amount of problems and questions presented by their students.
There are three stages of digitally fluency (Spencer, 2015) and it should be everyone’s goal to reach the third stage as this is where the effectiveness of the internet and technology is unlocked. Stage 1 is foundation knowledge, this is a surface level understanding of the digital world; basic browsing, communicating, and use of the technologies takes place here. Stage 2 is called Conceptual Understanding, here you can apply your skills more effectively and think what it means to be in the digital world and its applications. Thirdly we have the Procedural Fluency stage, here a student is creating new digital content effectively, at the same time thinking about how they will further their digital adventure considering their affect on other users and the future. These three stages are also referred to as cognition, application and analysis/ evaluation respectively and we can see that reflected in their meanings.
To be successful digital technology users we all need to be digitally fluent, and together that target is easier to achieve. The use of digital technologies is a skill and like with any skill having more knowledgeable others help vastly speeds up the learning process and enjoyment of the technology. Teachers can be this person and at the same time the more digitally fluent you become the better you will be able to pick up new skills as the internet is the best resource for learning about the internet.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity, Textbook, Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press
Manus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian. Retrieved From: https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital
Spencer, K. (2015). What is Digital Fluency. Retrieved From: http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/10/what-is-digital-fluency.html