Technological Fluency and Digital Literacy

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Digital technology has become inherent to our lives, transforming how we learn and communicate. Consequently, technological fluency and digital literacy are a must-have skill set for today’s educators. Technology in the classroom can enhance instruction and prepare students to navigate a digital world competently and confidently.

In today’s digital world, there are many ways to incorporate technologies into everyday instruction to foster dynamic and interactive learning environments. The use of educational software allows educators to ensure personalized instruction, enabling students to progress at their own pace while receiving individualized support that addresses their unique learning styles, needs, and strengths. As many parents might have noticed, giving students a device and assigning them to an online account isn’t enough. Teachers must incorporate lessons to build students’ self-regulation, problem-solving, and learning mindset. Online platforms are also an excellent way for students to view and interact with each other’s work, allowing them to learn collaboration, communication, and critique skills. If one were to observe how individuals and teams work in an office setting and a classroom, often, there are considerable disparities in technology integration. By using technology as a tool for learning, classrooms today can elevate engagement and accessibility in learning and empower students with the skills needed to thrive in today’s technology-driven world.

There are also ways of introducing and using developing technologies in the classroom, ensuring your students are at the forefront of technological advancements. A great example is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom. As stated in “The Promises and Perils of Generative AI in Education: TFA’s Evolving Perspective,” published by Teach For America, by incorporating AI in the classroom, educators can empower students to be creators of AI and shape AI development. Using AI in the classroom can also save educators hours on administrative tasks such as creating class outlines, rubrics, and exit slips, generating ideas for classroom activities, and updating curricula based on the latest information available. Misuse of AI and other classroom technologies can be harmful to students and educators. That is why educators must guide students on the responsible and ethical use of digital resources.

A tech-savvy teacher can guide students on responsible and ethical use of digital resources, ensuring they become digitally competent and responsible citizens. Lessons with students on how to use technology effectively will benefit students well beyond the classroom. By fostering conversations with students on plagiarism, digital privacy, digital footprint, cyberbullying, and how to find credible sources, educators empower students to make informed choices online. Students must learn the impact of their online actions on themselves, their community, and their future. Educators can instill an awareness of the impact of students’ online actions. Educators can shape students into conscientious citizens who can navigate the digital world with integrity and discernment.

Technology has reshaped the way we learn, communicate, and interact with the world. Educators with technological fluency and digital literacy are better equipped to engage and educate students. With a wide range of educational tools and platforms, technology can transform the student experience. By embracing and applying technology, educators can create engaging and interactive learning environments that fit the needs and strengths of their students. Teachers equip students with the skills required to thrive in a digital age through personalized learning and collaboration. As we look to the future, it is clear that tech-savvy teachers are pivotal in nurturing a generation of learners who are well-prepared for the digital world and responsible and ethical stewards of it.

Ana D. González