Teaching Requires Digital Literacy

Teaching Requires Digital Literacy - Teacher and Students

A career in teaching will certainly provide numerous opportunities to inspire and visually stimulate students. For some, a classroom might bring up distant memories of the cacophonous sounds of a screechy chalkboard or droning projector, but many modern classrooms have access to a plethora of technology from tablets to smart boards. These educational mediums have made it possible for students to interact and communicate across the Internet. While teaching still benefits from the same old pencil-and-paper approach to learning, adaptability to technology has become essential for preparing students for the working world.

What is digital literacy?
Digital literacy is the understanding of digital technology across computers and mobile devices, and the ability to use technological mediums productively in quotidian situations. The majority of students today are considered digital natives, meaning they have grown up with daily access to multiple technological channels. Therefore, many students have learned to be digitally literate both inside and outside of the classroom. Digital literacy in regard to education embodies taking students's technological know-how and transferring it into an opportunity to learn.

Why teachers need digital literacy
More than ever, teachers need digital literacy to effectively meet the criteria of the Common Core State Standards and prepare students for digital processes such as applying to college online, learning appropriate decorum for interacting with professionals via the Internet, and furthering the development of their work-desirable skill sets. Teachers with strong digital literacy are thereby more likely to find methods for incorporating useful technology in the classroom, creating lesson plans with beneficial technology usage, and quantifying digital education into long-term knowledge that helps students succeed.

How to improve your digital literacy
Improving one's digital literacy necessitates a certain level of immersion within technology. For example, learning the basics of Microsoft Excel through a succession of YouTube videos requires knowing how to access that information over the Internet. Staying up-to-date on new software, social networks and web programs will help teachers successfully utilize the technological forums being used by their students. If students are interacting over a particular social media, teachers can learn that program accordingly and find ways to plan their curriculum to include it.

WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please check out WGU's online degree programs in teaching.

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