We spend so much time in education trying to make things better. Better policies. Better technology. Better standards. Better curriculum. Better instruction. Better assessment. Better response to assessment data.
From a very tender age, we are exposed to games: Chess, Monopoly, Scotland Yard… And that is for a reason, because games make learning not seem like ‘learning’. Our mind inputs far more concentration and participation in a game rather than something we are otherwise taught.
As we grow up, such informal learning is replaced with a more structured, more formal way of instruction – the effectiveness of which has been questioned time and again.
Thankfully, with the introduction of high-end gamification in learning, we now have back what was lost being a child – a powerful medium of learning in the adult, corporate world.
Interactive games that resemble real work roles or use simulation to immerse the learner in a life like environment have a number of advantages to the organization:
If students are “glued” 24/7 to their mobile devices, why is it necessary for schools to teach digital literacy? Who should teach it? And wait … what does it even mean to be “digitally literate”?
If these are questions you’ve heard or asked, you aren’t alone. Many educators struggle to understand their evolving role in teaching and using technology in their classrooms. Most importantly, many of us wrestle with how technology is shifting the way kids learn.
The New York Department of Education defines digital literacy as “having the knowledge and ability to use a range of technology tools for varied purposes.” Digitally literate people are those who “can use technology strategically to find and evaluate information, connect and collaborate with others, produce and share original content, and use the Internet and technology tools to achieve many academic, professional, and personal goals.”
Most teachers recognize those skills as critical for 21st-century learning. But before teachers and students dive into using technology in class, we should discuss why a digital literacy curriculum is necessary.
Many adults think that because children have been immersed in a technology since a young age, they are naturally “literate” or skilled in using technology. Younger generations have been labeled “digital natives” while older generations are “digital immigrants.” Some research suggests this labeling is outright false—students are no more literate with devices than their so-called digital immigrant parents.
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