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The Importance of Teaching Digital Literacy Skills in the Age of Information Overload 

Image by Roberto Nickson from Pexels 

Digital competencies have been added to the important competencies of a teacher in the modern world. Digital literacy is the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively use digital technologies and resources. 

Digital literacy is becoming increasingly important in today’s society, where digital technologies permeate all areas of life. It allows people to communicate effectively, search for information, solve problems, and develop professionally. 

Many students use digital technologies successfully. They understand the software quickly. They find study materials easily, do effective research, and even find help if they face some problem while studying. For example, they can use  ThePensters online essay service  if writing a paper seems difficult for them or if they don’t have enough time for it. 

Key components of digital literacy 

Key components of digital literacy include: 

  • Understanding of the basic principles of computers and software. 
  • Ability to use the Internet to search for information, communicate, and collaborate. 
  • Skills in working with electronic documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. 
  • Ability to protect your information and maintain security online. 
  • Critical thinking skills and assessing the reliability of information on the Internet. 

It would seem that if the digital environment is now accessible to almost everyone, then the level of digital literacy should be high. 

How are things going for modern students? 

Teachers working with children and teenagers say that modern students really know how to use smartphones and find the necessary information on the Internet. Often, the ability to use a computer is not as good as a smartphone, especially for younger students. The kids can find information on the Internet, but they are still learning how to work with it. 

Have you heard, for example, about tree octopuses? 

Let’s talk about an experiment by American teacher Donald Leu, who several times asked different groups of schoolchildren and students to report on the tree octopus. He asked to find information on a website that was really dedicated to this “endangered species.” There were no other reliable sources about the mollusk on the Internet; other links and photos somehow led to the first site. 

In some cases, Leu had students fill out a questionnaire about what they had read on the site and asked them to write down whether the website was suspicious. As a result of his social experiments, most of the teenagers submitted essays and indicated in their questionnaires that the site was very useful for them to get acquainted with a rare species of animals. In fact, of course, no tree octopus exists in nature, and the resource was created specifically to “test” the gullibility of users. 

The importance of protecting your data, checking information from several sources, and working on the Internet is now taught in classes. The digital environment and digital technologies are actively being introduced into education. 

It is important for a teacher to have a high level of digital literacy in order to be able to provide an environment for students to develop this skill. 

In addition, the development of teacher’s digital literacy allows them to be more effective and successful in their profession. It can use a variety of tools and technologies to personalize learning, create interactive activities, and evaluate student progress. This helps make a more interesting and effective learning environment that promotes student development. 

How to remind students about the importance of digital literacy 

  • We recommend showing students videos about digital literacy. But don’t just show them; make students reflect on the situations presented in the video.  
  • You can invent and solve cases. Describe to a student or group of students situations that a user might encounter while using a computer. Let students come up with a solution to the situation. 
  • You can encourage students to use the Internet to find information that interests them. In a group lesson, where all students have a different pace, those who are rushing forward have the opportunity not to wait but to independently find information and use it in practical work. In addition, independently obtained information is more likely to be stored in the head. 

One of a teacher’s tasks is to introduce students to the world of computer technology and allow them to learn how to interact with it. 

Let’s sum up 

The digital revolution is looking through our windows. It is difficult to imagine the life of a modern person without digital devices and online services. These opportunities improve a person’s life and help with communication, development, and work. Therefore, it is important to learn how to use and manage them effectively. 

Today, those specialists who have digital and soft skills are more valuable. The balance of such competencies allows you to use digital expertise skillfully and helps you become a leader of a new generation who not only manages processes but also leads the team forward. That’s why it is essential to improve digital literacy skills.  

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