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12 Essential Digital Literacy Skills That Should Be Integrated into Core Subject Areas

by | Jan 4, 2018 | News

Digital Literacy is terminology that describes one’s ability to understand, use, and interact with technology and digital resources in real-world situations.  Today, these technological skills are vital for our students to possess because future careers depend upon their ability to harness digital tools.

Contrary to popular belief, students aren’t born with digital literacy skills.  While they may interact daily with computers and cell phones, many students don’t usually understand basic use, best practices, and safety risks.

We must educate students to be successful in our digital world, but how does a classroom teacher integrate digital literacy skills into core instruction—especially when there’s so much material to teach already?

A good place for educators to start is to consider different digital tools available, and determine ways they can be integrated in any subject.  By combining the two, the goal to help students master subject-area content while building digital literacy and problem-solving skills simultaneously is achievable.

Consider these 12 ways to integrate essential digital literacy skills into any subject:

  1. Computer Fundamentals: ask students to compose and save a response with a word processing program to practice common computer processes like copy/paste, format, and save.
  2. Coding: have students create step-by-step instructions to learn coding concepts like syntax and sequence to create a product or describe a process.
  3. Keyboarding: use supplemental keyboarding software to help students build foundational skills and improve typing technique, accuracy, and speed by consistently typing homework or classroom assignments.
  4. Online Safety and Digital Citizenship: articulate the meaning and provide real-world examples of plagiarism, digital identity theft, cyberbullying, and hacking during student computer time.
  5. Computational Thinking: build students’ transferable problem-solving skills by having them compare and contrast the design process with writing process, logic and reasoning, or scientific process.
  6. Multimedia: have students communicate ideas visually by using digital tools like animations, audio, and video to supplement classroom presentations.
  7. Internet Usage and Online Communication: students should craft a concise message with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion using an email application to request or share information.
  8. Visual Mapping: encourage students to translate an idea into a digital image to convey a thought, argument, or solution by using concept mapping or flow chart software.
  9. Word Processing: ask students to demonstrate mastery of a concept by creating, editing, and publishing written work.
  10. Spreadsheets: have students collect, understand and interpret data by using spreadsheet software; create graphs and charts to draw conclusions or make predictions.
  11. Databases: ask students to create or search different types of databases, create queries and run reports that provide data that support a conclusion in an essay or presentation.
  12. Presentations: during a class presentation, encourage students to use effective language and compelling graphics to inform or persuade.

These 12 skills are a great way to help students develop digital literacy in their education. As both educators and students grow more confident integrating digital tools with core-subject areas, the possibilities for learning in tandem with technology are endless.

To learn more about how Learning.com can help you bring digital literacy concepts into core subject areas, click here.

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