The truth about Digital Literacy – what parents should know

The truth about Digital Literacy – what parents should know

Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to use digital technology to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information. It has become an essential skill children need for school, play, and life.

Computers, phones, and the Internet. All these have become necessary in our working lives, and we can’t do without them. This rings true for our children; unlike us, they grew up in a world filled with them and can’t think of a world without them. The days when students use physical textbooks and pen and paper are getting fewer, and gadgets have become a common part of children’s everyday life.

Why is it essential for your children to be digitally literate?

1. Digital Technology is Part of Modern Life.r what

Digital technology is not going anywhere. It is something that is embedded into part of our daily lives and is present in every industry. Your children will use various digital tools independently as the world becomes digitalised. From tapping their card for public transport to ordering McDonald’s on a kiosk, your children have already come to accept and be comfortable with technology as a part of their lives.

Software such as facial scanning and artificial intelligence profiling increasingly affects children’s lives. Their future job opportunities, social welfare and government benefits may depend on how digitally literate they are and what they do with technology.

2. Increase Online Safety

Benefits from technology use will undoubtedly rise as digital technology advances, but so will the risks that come with it. These online risks are complex and forever evolving. Firewalls and antivirus software may not be enough to protect your children from individuals or groups with malicious intent.

The internet is, unfortunately, not a kind place. Cyberbullying is more common than most parents realize. This can adversely affect your children without you being aware. Children are particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying as they may not fully recognise the limitations of the internet.

Being digitally literate alone won’t protect your kids from online safety risks. However, it can help them learn about those risks using the information, tools, and readily available online resources. Instead of refraining from using technology or the internet, they should be learning how to handle cyberbullying and online dangers with your help.

3. Digital Literacy Expands Your Children’s Knowledge

One of the biggest reasons being digitally literate is essential is because the internet is a treasure trove filled with information and presents multiple opportunities for children to educate themselves on any topic. The use of technology in the education sector has also increased, and most educational institutions now permanently include online materials in their curriculum.

Unlike their ancestors, children can benefit from countless digital channels present in the modern world. Videos, podcasts, search engines and social media pages are some of the examples that they can learn from. They can find answers to any topic on a global scale through a simple Google search using their fingertips.

Children skilled in digital tools are more comfortable and confident using educational platforms. On the other hand, children who have trouble navigating the digital world tend to lose confidence, which may impede their learning progress.

4. Understand Digital Responsibility

Digital literacy teaches the value of digital responsibility – the ability to access and communicate information online in an ethical manner.

As we become more reliant on digital technology, it opens doors to new communication channels but also new challenges. Your children are also exposed to challenges like copyright, plagiarism, cyberbullying and interacting responsibly with others. When communicating with others online, it is easy to become desensitized. They must remember that the person on the other side of the screen is another person just like them and should be treated with respect.

Having digital literacy skills help your children become an expert in understanding and overcoming these challenges, which will also make them more responsible online citizens.

5. Ability to Create Content

Give your child a new piece of technology; chances are, they are excited and will immediately start exploring it and figuring out how everything works. They can create content in a way that previous generations could never do, in addition to using the internet as a source of information.

Activities such as video applications to record their projects or exciting things they see as they go about their day are just a few examples of how they can create content.

Children should be encouraged to explore digital technology to establish the foundation for being digitally literate. However, there is a fine line between using technology to find, use & create information productively and becoming addicted to the internet.

Setting technology limitations may be a way to monitor your children’s use of technology while ensuring that they spend ample time with their families and are not glued to a screen for long periods during the day.

As much as digital literacy is an important factor for the development of our children, learning is not limited to just online platforms and classrooms. If you share the same value as us wanting your child to enjoy holistic learning through a vibrant environment, contact us via email at [email protected] or fill up a form here to find out more.

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