- During a recent Twitter chat, educators talked about how to understand and determine what is reliable media information, and what is not — and how to make sure they’re teaching their own students adequate digital literacy skills. Having a strategy to interpret media is crucial when helping students learn what to trust as well.
- Some educators believe that all media — even those from respected sources — should be read critically. Others believe that before sharing information, educators should read something on their own to make sure they’ve digested it thoroughly — particularly when it comes to visual information such as videos which can be “more compelling,” and “more complicated,” according to EdSurge.
- Teaching students digital literacy tools they’ll need in the workplace is also a good idea, giving them skills they can use not only in school, but when they head out in the world.
In a world where anyone can post anything in seconds — from videos to doctored audio files — knowing how to glean whether the material is legitimate and factual, and what is not, is crucial. Educators want their students to have these tools, which include critical thinking skills, yet not all know themselves how to read what they’re seeing with analytical eyes.
Curriculum instructors and administrators would do well to offer teachers their own training to develop these skills. Aside from conferences and events — which may be outside of district budgets — there are online professional development options that can help teach educators how to build their own digital literacy tool kits.
Teaching Tolerance has an online guide which asks educators to answer why they should be learning about digital literacy and how they can weave the skill into their own classrooms. The International Society for Teaching in Education (ISTE) has also produced an infographic replete with statistics on why digital citizenship and literacy is important, which can also be ordered for classroom use.
As more educational content moves online, students must be able to discern if what they’re reading and digesting is accurate information or not. That starts with their teachers, who must make sure their pupils are equipped with digital literacy skills for college, the workplace or wherever their path takes them next.