Digital fluency

Lately I have been thinking about digital literacy and I wonder if we are using the wrong terminology. Maybe, what we need is digital fluency.

immersionI see digital literacy as something that is implemented. We are taught very detailed and specific things we need to do and say when online. The field is very well researched but will always be incomplete.

I think the term fluency implies an understanding of nuance. It suggests that people are comfortable and function intuitively.

Maybe we should think of going online like learning another language rather than another scaffolded skill.

For example, those people who have been playing in online spaces for a couple of decades now know intuitively how technology works. When a new piece of software or a new device is launched, people that have been in the game for a while feel more comfortable playing with the new toys. They are fluent because they have been immersed.

But folks who are just now transitioning into online spaces are a little more like visitors that know how to find a bus stop or order a meal. They know the basics, but find it difficult to engage in deep, meaningful conversations. And the deep, meaningful conversations are what we need to engage in at school. Not just fun, tourist experiences.

Maybe education technology pedagogs should started talking about digital learning with a meta-language that resembles language immersion rather than the language of digital literacy scaffolding. This means providing authentic opportunities (not without support) to explore the digital world, make mistakes, and do all the things it takes to become fluent rather than just skilled.

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4 thoughts on “Digital fluency

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