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Technology Literacy-Different than Simple Usage

According to an article by Meris Stransbury, there's more to understanding technology than simply understanding how to use a specific software or program, it's the ability to adapt.  Adaptation is what makes 21st century students successful in a world where technology is constantly evolving.

Why is it that, when the newest computer program or phone comes out, our children are the ones teaching us how to use it?  The younger generations are used to a world where new becomes old in the blink of an eye (basically!) and they have allowed themselves to fully embrace the belief that "getting ahead means never getting too settled."  While this mantra may raise goosebumps on the back of your neck because you're wondering "why can't things just stay the same?!", it makes for a honed ability to adapt.  So while the older generation is trying to slow down change (and ultimately the world...which is impossible), the younger generation has completely embraced it and, without fully realizing it, paved the way for their own future success in education.

Now, of course, our children need us.  They're not doing this all on their own.  Because, while they may be willing to try out the "next big thing" that comes along, sometimes they're not as discerning as they should be...which is why these 3 skills discussed in Stransbury's article "Five technology skills that every student should learn" are items that should be readily taught in our classrooms.

Online literacy: differentiating between bias and fact.  "Judging quality and hidden influences in the content they read"

Critical thinking: "You might find a wife, job, or car on Google but you still have to nurture the relationship, show up with clean pants, and put oil in the thing.  The skill, the tool, the 'app' aren't the final destination." (Ed McManis, Head of School, Sterne School)

Courage: Don't be afraid to experiment with something new.  "Technology is there to bend to your will, not the other way around."

Now take that back to your school.




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