Digital Native and Digital Literacy Skills

I remember growing up without having smart phones, social media or really any sort of device or technology to consume my time. But when I got into middle school that would all change. I remember the day like it was yesterday, one of my teammates on my hockey team walked into the locker room with the first ever Ipod touch by Apple. Everyone was in shock with all of the different things that this device was able to do. So for me I believe that naturally I am a digital native because I was around when the digital world took off for the first time. I believe that most people my age are in the same boat because of how much contact most of us have had with technology. But most of us had to live and learn from experiences we have had and were never really taught the proper way how to use these different technologies. We basically were like lost puppies out there in the world and really just had to just teach ourselves.

This brings me to my opinion on whether we even need to be teaching the younger generations critical digital literacy skills. Since the younger generation have essentially grown up surrounded by these different technologies and especially the internet many people might argue that they don’t need to. But I beg to differ, we need to teach the younger generation the proper way to use technology to ensure that they can benefit from it and remain safe when online. If the younger generation doesn’t learn the proper way to effectively use technology, more than likely they won’t get any true benefits out of it. Digital literacy is also becoming bigger more than ever in the workforce and in the classrooms. So having the proper education critical digital literacy skills for kids will go a longer way than you might think.

For me personally I feel like right now I have a high level of digital literacy and I am able to absorb information at a fast rate. But this didn’t just happen and it took me a very long time. I can’t even imagine if I was taught proper digital literacy skills at a younger age. Instead I have had to learn mostly on my own. There are so many benefits that I believe could come from teaching the younger generations digital literacy skills at a young age. To name a few I believe 1. They will be able to multitask better 2. They will be able to work in teams more efficiently. The internet if used the right way allows for you to do many things at once along with working on communication skills. Those two things in my opinion are both things I feel that I struggle with today because of not being educated with technology at a young age. But with the proper education I feel the younger generation today won’t have to struggle as much as I did and can benefit from all of the endless things technology has to offer.