Digital fluency for teachers. Is it important?

51214-Primary-school-student-with-ipad2-51214Is teachers’ digital fluency simply using technology to teach or is it the ability to actually teach the students on how to use it? I think that both aspects are as important as one another, however it will be dependent on the grade level of the student. As a primary school teacher you may be required to teach anywhere from reception to year seven which will have vast differences in how digital technology is taught or used. I believe technology does not need to be taught as a stand-alone subject as it can be beneficial to use in other subjects in the curriculum.

Do teacher’s skills need to be advanced enough to cater for experienced users of technology or can it be as Howell (2012, p. 134) suggests, be more collaborative and peer-supported learning. White (2015) suggests that teachers may have had a pedagogy for many years, however, this is no longer sufficient in a digital world. I believe that digital fluency to me is about life-long learning and adapting my teaching accordingly by continually being abreast of new technology.

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White (2015) states that whilst traditional skills are still important, a range of new skills are also required in this digital age, however I believe that any technology that the teacher uses must have purpose. I believe there is no point using technology for the sake of it if there is no educational benefit. Careful selection of the digital technologies is vital as Howell (2012, p.135) suggests the activities must be closely tied to the curriculum with clearly established learning outcomes. Students will seek technology and it is a teacher’s responsibility to be digitally fluent in providing this as long as it supports educational outcomes.

How digitally fluent are you? Take this test.

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity.  Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Smith, G. (2008). Teacher cartoon [image]. Retrieved from http://www.techedknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/cartoon.jpg

White, G. (2013, November 26). Digital fluency for the digital age. Retrieved from http://rd.acer.edu.au/article/digital-fluency-for-the-digital-age

Wikispaces.com.(2015). Incorporating iPads into classrooms [image]. Retrieved from http://edl325s2012.wikispaces.com/Class+2_Team+3

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