If you are an English/Language Arts teacher, you know that your students are not going to start out reading Shakespeare on the first day of kindergarten. There are foundational skills - recognizing letters, associating those letters to sounds, developing oral vocabulary, reading a lot of Captain Underpants, getting instruction on close reading, and more - do you see the progression there? Digital literacy follows a path that is perhaps not quite so linear as that reading example, but there is a progression nonetheless. Some of the foundational digital skills users must now develop include identifying letters on the keyboard, learning what the Shift key does, memorizing passwords, typing a website correctly, opening various programs, and on up through coding and beyond.
Our Chromebook rollout has accelerated the pace of - and need for - the development of these digital literacy skills. Below are 10 crucial skills, in no particular order, that all teachers should possess and pass on to their students. How would you rate yourself on each of these skills?
- What a browser is, how and why to log in to your browser, and how to tell if you're logged in to your browser
- Web searching skills
- Critically examining the parts of a URL (web address)
- Knowing and using shortcut key combinations
- Knowing the difference between "Reply" and "Reply All" and what using ALL CAPS in an email signifies (pro tip: don't do it)
- How to identify and deal with email spam
- Spreadsheet skills
- How to format documents Word | Google Docs
- How to resize an image
- What extensions and apps are
- Knowing where to go for help (YouTube videos, site's Help page, Google it, ask us)
If your digital literacy/fluency is not where you would like it to be, our department can help! We can work with you individually, in small teams, or with an entire staff. We have experience with learners of all abilities - so whether you consider yourself a novice or an advanced tech user, we probably have some suggestions for improving your digital skills.