The requirement to be digitally fluent is growing, and teachers play an important role of ensuring their students have the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to succeed in a digital world (White, 2013). A digitally fluent individual is one who is competent across a wide spectrum of technology, and who has the ability to understand and critically assess both the technology, but also the vast amount of information available (Bartlett & Miller, 2011; Briggs, 2014; Howell, 2014). As students progress through their schooling, it is not enough to have a basic skill set in one technological area; they are required make sophisticated choices, collaborate, manipulate and see the connections and contexts of various forms of technology (Holland, 2013; A Digital Decade, 2007).
Teachers do not need to be experts in all digital technology (Howell, 2014, McKenzie, 2000) however their experience with, and their beliefs about technology, have a significant impact on their use and inclusion of digital resources as a classroom tool (Hermans, Tondeur ,van Braak & Valcke, 2008). As an educator you need to be open minded and willing to engage with technology to use it as resource and tool in the classroom (McKenzie, 2000). Primary aged children will require support and education in more basic areas of technology, but it is equally important to engage children with using technology to construct their own new understanding to their existing knowledge (Hermans et al, 2008). By incorporating technology an educator can introduce the primary school student to the subject matter using an engaging tool to promote creative and analytical thinking (Howell, 2014). As children progress into secondary school, students need to learn to evaluate the validity of the information they find in order to become truly digitally fluent (Bartlett & Miller, 2011).
A digital decade. (2007). Education Week, 26(30), 8-9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/202748683?accountid=10382
Bartlett, J., & Miller, C. (2011) Truth, lies and the internet: a report into young people’s digital fluency. Retrieved from: http://dml2011.dmlhub.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/Truth_-_web.pdf
Briggs, S. (2014) 20 things educators need to know about digital literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/digital-literacy-skills/
Hermans, R., Tondeur, J. ,van Braak, J., and Valcke, M. (2008) The impact of primary school teachers’ educational beliefs on the classroom use of computers, Computers & Education, Volume 51, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 1499-1509, ISSN 0360-1315, Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0360131508000377
Howell, J. (2014) Teaching with ICT: digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (2005) Digital Information Fluency Model [Image] Retrieved from:http://21cif.com/rkitp/course/elementaryworkshop/
McKenzie, W. (2000) Are you a techno-constructivist? Retrieved from: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech005.shtml
Holland, B. (2013). Fluency: preparing students to be digital learners. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-tech-fluency-digital-learners-beth-holland
SociaLens (2011, February 5) Re: The difference between digital literacy and digital fluency.[Web log] Retrieved from: http://www.socialens.com/blog/2011/02/05/the-difference-between-digital-literacy-and-digital-fluency/
White, Gerald K., (2013)”Digital fluency : skills necessary for learning in the digital age”