Digital Education

Teaching has changed drastically over time, and has shifted from paper and pencil lecture style instruction to lessons that are unique, creative, and engaging. This shift is due to technology, and more specifically, the Internet. The internet not only allows for limitless possibilities of activities and lessons, it also provides endless information and a place for teachers to share and discuss strategies. With the benefits of technology also come drawbacks. One of the biggest negatives to the Internet is the ease of adding information. This means that any person can post or write on the Internet. 

Students must learn to accurately assess and evaluate the credibility of any source they view on the internet. This prevents the spread of misinformation, as well as biases and ignorance. The internet is an extremely useful educational tool, but we can not just let students roam the internet without the tools to assess whether their information is accurate or not. To practice digital literacy students should “read laterally, not vertically,” which has the students read for credibility before getting into the content(Weaver). It is also important to emphasize to students that these websites can be misleading, and are designed to trick you. Just because a website may have something that is trustworthy, like a .gov address, does not mean that it is reliable. 

With the topic of digital literacy also comes the topic of teaching in polarizing times over hot button issues. When teaching with technology it is impossible to avoid conflicting issues because the students will have immediate access to those events. I have experienced this first hand in my field experience when the students used their chromebooks to look up Trump articles on FOX News. The News Literacy Project article provides effective strategies to teaching through controversial times, and one of those strategies stuck out to me the most. The News Literacy Project writes that students should “Approach news reports as texts” and critically analyze them for their credibility and biases(NLP). This is important to me and something I will stress as an educator because it allows students to think for themselves in an accurate setting. This means they can come to their own political and historical views based on solely the facts, and not misinformation.