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An Overview Of How Digital Literacy Is Educating Kids

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With technology rising in recent years, computers and gadgets are constituted as both a blessing and a curse. With technology dominating many industries and institutions like education, there comes the rise of digital literacy, which can offer a load of benefits for children.

Why Digital Literacy Matters
“Digital literacy is essential for children to learn in this day and age,” says Michael Windsor. “However, such technological power should be wielded wisely. Most children might know how to take a selfie, or how to post to social media. However, digital literacy should refer to understanding and using technology wisely by learning to read and write.”

With that said, when used right, digital literacy can bring 4 benefits to children:

Reading Is More Interesting To Kids
According to a report done by the National Reading Panel, developments in the Internet, as well as the usage of school computers, have paved the way for “renewed efforts to deliver instruction of all sorts, including reading, by computer.” As a result, these renewed efforts can help children improve in:

- Word-reading skills
- Phonological awareness, AND
- Knowledge in vocabulary

This is especially apparent with e-reading, since a Scholastic (in conjunction with Harrison Group) report suggests that the percentage of children who have read an eBook has nearly doubled from 25% to 46% since 2010. As a result, eBooks have that potential in helping kids practice and improve their digital literacy.

Improved Writing In Kids
According to Education Corner, digital literacy “expands the scope of traditional literacy” by doing the following:

- Incorporating audio and video for comprehensive purposes
- Encouraging stronger thinking, AND
- Encouraging more learning

Rather than just learn to write “textisms like LOL (laugh out loud), BTW (by the way), and the use of emojis, children can learn to improve length and complexity in their writing through digital literacy. As a result, kids can learn to “write” ideas and thoughts on the fly, whether it’s on paper, on the computer, or elsewhere.

Kids Are More Cognitive
Cognition is key in learning in school. With digital literacy, kids can improve in their cognitive skills. Even if it’s simply using the Internet (with parent supervision, of course), the following cognitive abilities will improve:

Memory
Memory is important for students to learn, and to digest what they learn. Memory is more apparent when kids are with friends, family, or other people that they know and trust. With social media, when they follow their friends and family on, say, Facebook, that’s considered transactive memory – memory that prevents losing train of thought.

Problem Solving (Spatial And Logical)
Students are prone to learning new things, whether they expect it or not. In other words, students are willing to find answers to information for themselves, rather than wait for their instructors to assist them.

In addition, children are able to develop the following spatial and logical skills:

- Long-term memory
- Fine motor skills
- Structural knowledge
- Critical thinking

This skill is especially crucial, because children must learn how to tell the difference between useful information and misinformation.

This skill also allows children to learn how to think more critically, without succumbing to Internet "junk.”

Concentration
This is especially crucial during exam time, studying, etc. Children will need to concentrate to adapt new knowledge, and maintain it.

Abstraction
Comprehension

Socialization Made Easy For Kids
“Social skills are most needed in today’s world,” says Kimberly Grayson. “Whether it’s to send emails to instructors, or using instant messaging to communicate with their peers, digital literacy promotes socialization in kids.”

Conclusion
Ultimately, digital literacy will continue to prosper, thanks to the rise of technology. As a result, educational institutions will continue to treat digital literacy as a valuable resource. With major benefits on the horizon, digital literacy is good for children, just as long as parents and teachers supervise them in the online world. Rather than fear the Internet, it should be embraced in terms of digital literacy.

In short, digital literacy opens doors to enhanced learning. As a result, the following things are more obtainable for children:

- Better reading comprehension
- Better writing
- Better cognition, AND
- Improved socialization

With educational institutions, and even parents, embracing digital literacy, they’re building a solid foundation for students to succeed in literacy in general, and make life easier for them in the long-run (i.e. school, work, etc.).

George J. Newton is a writer and editor at Write my research proposal. As a business development manager, he helps his company improve its marketing strategies and concepts.
Author: George J. Newton