Digital Literacy

Introductory skills and development of technical skills by students does not equate to deep understanding of appropriate use of digital technologies. boyd’s extensive research (2009) suggests that media literacy among networked teens is extremely varied and that they have virtually no media literacy training.

Even introductory level skills are not necessarily strong among students. Livingstone & Haddon’s (2011) research indicates:

  • Only 36% of children aged 9 to 16 perceived that it was very true that they knew more about the Internet than their parents;

  • 66% of children aged 9 to 10 say it is not true that they know more about the Internet than their parents;

  • 37% of students did not have the skills associated with finding safety information online;

  • 36% of students were unable to bookmark a website;

  • Nearly 50% could not change privacy settings on a

    social networking profile; and

  • Over 50% were unable to block spam.

    As noted by Livingstone & Haddon, “Talk of digital natives obscures children’s need for support in developing digital skills” (p. 42).

    Ribble (2011) points out the importance of students understanding the specifics of digital tools, but also points out that students must have opportunity for this tool set to be part of the school’s curriculum to explore how it may be used appropriately. A significant element in this picture is the development of teachers’ abilities in using technology and how to plan and engage students using meaningful digital technologies in appropriate ways.

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