Using digital content in the classroom

Digital education content is material that you access from a digital device. This content could be stored online on a website or downloaded to the device as an e-book or app. It can even be distributed offline via a USB disk or CD-ROM. Some of this content is freely available for re-use and adaptation and is called Open Educational Resources (OERs). Other content has been developed by commercial publishers and is available for purchase similar to a print book. 

Digital content can take many forms that could include videos, animations, interactive diagrams or widgets, audio clips, assessment content, images and text. Some types of content work better on a laptop or PC but all should be able to be accessed on a smartphone or tablet.

A teacher with learners using tablets in a lesson

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What is digital literacy?

Digital literacy can be defined as the ability to understand and engage with information and communication technology. Digital literacy is used in a wide range of devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Digital literacy consists of the skills (both cognitive and technical) and knowledge and behaviours necessary to evaluate and communicate information in an electronic medium. 

Digital literacy is different to computer literacy and digital skills. Computer literacy refers to the ability to use a computer and other related technology. In order to be computer literate, you must have the basic skills and knowledge required to operate the software on a computer. Digital skills focus on what to do and how to do it. Digital literacy focuses on why, when and for whom something should be done. Digital skills require the basic ability to navigate the digital community; however, digital literacy requires more of an understanding. While computer literacy and digital skills are about being able to operate devices, digital literacy is about being able to operate and understand both systems and networks. 

Why is digital literacy important?

Digital literacy is important in today‚Äôs society as communicating and connecting with the world via social media has become popular, and most of the information is shared on digital platforms. 

Digital literacy is also becoming a vital component in education. With the emergence of OERs, users need to be digitally literate in order to understand how to use OERs and how to share them with others. Many teachers are making use of educational websites and online quizzes to test learners and help them gain understanding of their work. 

Online Education Chart with keywords and icons

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