23
April
2014

Should digital literacy be taught in the classroom?

With many schools and learners using electronic devices for study and research, should ‘digital literacy’ be taught in school, and if so, how should it be taught?

 

‘Digital literacy’ can be defined as ‘the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate, and create information using a range of digital technologies’.  Experts believe that there is no need for a separate subject or course called ‘digital literacy’. Protocols for digital literacy should rather be applied incidentally in all classrooms so that learners can develop the essential skills required to safely and effectively access online resources.

The problem that many learners now face is no longer access to information, but rather how to deal with all the information that they find when they google a topic. They need to understand how to evaluate a website, a blog post, a tweet, a Facebook entry etc. Learners also need to know what online content they are allowed to reproduce and how to reference it properly.

The University of California has developed the CRAAP system which can be applied to both digital and ‘traditional’ sources. This method requires students to evaluate a source based on its Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. These evaluative skills apply to all learning areas and developing these skills is essential if your learners want to produce credible, authentic and ethically-sound research assignments.

For more information, you can read the article ‘How to Infuse Digital Literacy Throughout the Curriculum’, and start applying the CRAAP system in your classroom.

MacMo

Categories: Lesson Ideas

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