The term digital literacy is often confused with the knowledge of using the internet. And by internet, the extent is often limited to search engines like Google or YouTube and social media like Facebook or Instagram. Many parents, and even schools, often approve of the former and frown on the latter but in reality, the drawbacks of the latter are present in the former as well. Digital literacy seeks to break this prevalent norm. The concept strives to add the essential element of critical thinking to the knowledge of using the internet. When students are not only proficient in surfing the internet but also in analysing the content they are viewing, that is where digital literacy exists in its true meaning.
And just like with any other skill, the responsibility is naturally on the schools to equip their students with this crucial ability. The children of today are ultimately going to live in a world that is going to be digitised even further. Thus, the best school in Chennai never takes digital literacy as an optional skill that students may or may not have and looks to inculcate it by the following methods.
- Teaching digital literacy as part of the curriculum
This forward-thinking approach is essential for two reasons. One, students understand and acknowledge the importance of the included topics and consume them with attention. And two, building digital literacy does not become an extra burden on teachers and students alike where they will have to fit in an extra session in order to teach and learn its nuances. A tired mind after a long day at school will easily neglect digital literacy. But when it exists inside the curriculum, it will receive its deserved attention.
- Introducing fake news and misdirected ads
A recent study revealed that students of even the present generation cannot tell the difference between original content and advertisement content. The scenario is bleak with fake news as well. Students do get exposed to false information and misdirected advertisements and they can never stay away from them until they are taught to consciously identify them. To enhance digital literacy, this is indeed a vital step.
- Talking about responsible use of the internet
The top ten schools in chennai will always have teaching responsible use of the internet as their primary agenda. The simplest way this can be achieved is to inform the students about plagiarism and discouraging them from directly copying resources from the net into their assignments. Next, the issue of cyberbullying should come to the limelight and students need to understand things from the perspective of the victims. A digitally literate student will always tap into the benefits of the internet.
- Using technology inside the classrooms
The best possible way to show the brighter side of the digital world to students is by exposing them to the technology directly in the classrooms. When the teacher, time and again, plays an educational video on YouTube to complete a lesson, students understand the true potential of the video platform and automatically makes the connection. Similarly, when students see teachers using Instagram to find visual aids in the class, they also start using the platform for such purposes only.
- Creating awareness about the darker side
Students easily fall victim to fake accounts over the internet. They also share unethical posts without fully understanding the consequences. And then there is the matter where privacy is always breached online when students unknowingly give away critical information. They cannot maintain restrictions unless they are aware of the darker side and hence, schools need to talk about such issues freely. Teachers should speak about ethical posting and maintaining online boundaries.
- Taking real-life examples to serve as inspiration
There are many school students out there whose pattern of using the internet can serve as motivations for many. There are children who are teaching other students about space over YouTube. And then there are school students who have been campaigning about climate change through the internet from a young age. These examples can encourage the current crop to see the internet for what it is. Use the technology to meaningfully express rather than spreading offense.
So, when you sit down to list top schools in Chennai, make sure that the institute has digital literacy as one of its main focus areas. The skill is no more an option now and students need to understand the proper use. Velammal School focuses on building digital literacy as part of the school’s curriculum. The lessons are progressive as per the grade of the students where they learn to effectively use the internet as per their level. Digital literacy can really make lives meaningful in this virtually connected world. In the 21st century, education cannot reach its deserved benchmark without digital literacy.