Digital fluency is “the ability to use digital technologies in a confident manner” (Howell, 2012, p. 243). Further to this definition, digital fluency allows the user to be digitally savvy with the vast amount of information available to them. Miller and Barlett (2012, p. 39) discuss three components of digital fluency. The first element, net savviness, is a sound and understanding of how the internet operates the importance and vulnerability of digital identity. The second, critical evaluation techniques, teaches users to assess website reliability. The third element, diversity, encourages students to investigate a wide scope of opinions and reflect the importance of objective data. These are critical elements to consider as a teacher, imparting this knowledge on the sensible use of the internet will significantly improve students understanding of it.
“The digital information fluency model” (Information Fluency, 2011)
Exploring digital fluency in week 6, I realized as a future educator, I should be aware of my student’s technological capabilities. In the early years of school, children are considered “technology neophytes” (Howell, 2012, p. 133) having experienced varying degrees of interaction with technology at home. As future teachers, we can increase our digital fluency through exchanges with students and be open to their expertise. Sharing ideas and information is a good foundation on which to build relationships, as well as broaden understanding of information and communications technology (ICT). Howell (2012) provides a checklist for students to be suitably digitally fluent upon completion of their primary and secondary education:
As discussed by Howell, (2012) teachers must be assured students are meeting expectations at each stage. When completing primary school, it is imperative for students to be at a standard of digital fluency to support them through their secondary schooling, and once again building upon these skills in their future paths. There are now many opportunities for digitally skilled people to utilise their skills on a professional level (Mac Manus, 2013) as discussed in the following article: