Digital technology, which includes computers, smartphones and tablets, as well as social media and other mobile apps and digital software, is pervasive in a boy’s personal life. However, digital literacy is important in education as it is a proven tool for enhancing learning experiences. Boys already have access to and familiarity with a range of digital tools — parents can encourage the utilisation of these tools to make for a more effective learning experience. Here are just some of the ways digital technology can support learning:
1. Apps can progress academic outcomes
There are many apps that can support your son’s learning and most of them are free. Even teenagers can benefit from incorporating apps into their study practices. Digital apps can help to personalise learning and enable boys to learn at their own pace. With so many options available, apps have the functionality and capability of appealing to a range of different learning styles which means that every child can progress their learning in the digital space. Further, using apps encourages independent study to reinforce lessons provided directly by a teacher in the classroom. This is hugely beneficial for students as independent learning allows for deeper understanding and enhances critical thinking skills. Through gamification, apps also make learning fun which means that children will be more engaged in study.
2. Technology in the classroom makes learning interactive
There are many benefits to the use of technology in the classroom. Significantly, technology in the classroom facilitates a collaborative environment and makes learning interactive. Smart boards have been revolutionary in this capacity, with some smart boards even allowing for interactive brainstorming between campuses, schools and even across the globe. Smart boards cater for a range of learning styles – students who are visual learners are able to understand content through the use of visual learning aids such as video and animation; audio learners can listen and have discussions; tactile learners are able to touch and interact with the board. By encouraging collaboration, overall participation in the classroom is increased and student engagement levels are enhanced. With the advent of 3D goggles, students can be immersed in new experiences such as walking the streets of faraway cities, visiting archaeological sites or even wandering around space or visiting the past – all from the safety of their classroom. It provides a whole new level of access to things that would otherwise be impossible, bringing about a personal experience and greater understanding of units of study.
Other digital technology such as Google Classroom allows teachers and students to converse with each other, give feedback and generate debates and classroom discussions. At home, parents have the opportunity to look over their son’s shoulder and see what is taking place and being discussed in the virtual classroom.
3. Digital technology improves digital literacy
An essential role of digital technology education is that it encourages students to become confident and proficient users of digital tools. Digital literacy is essential for this and future generations. According to the Foundation for Young Australians, 90 percent of the workforce will require at least basic computer skills including the use of email or company software, while over 50 percent will need to be able to use, configure and build digital systems in the next two to three years. Further, studies have found that one in four Australian 15-year-olds demonstrated low proficiency in digital literacy.
As parents, your encouragement in using and becoming familiar with digital technology is critical to helping your son to flourish in the future. Digital literacy skills will enable your son to:
- Find and access digital content that is fit for purpose
- Analyse and combine information to develop his own understanding
- Create and share digital content in purposeful ways.
There are many reasons why technology is used in the classroom. Although digital technology plays a significant role in your son’s learning, it is important to note that it should not replace traditional approaches to learning. There is a balance between the two and technology should supplement tried and tested methods of educating boys.
Learn more about cybersafety and raising boys to be smart and safe online, or visit the Australian Government’s e-safety website which has many useful resources for parents.
Embracing digital literacy and technology, Trinity Grammar School actively promotes cyber safety through its dedicated annual Safer Internet Week. Although this event is staged once per year, the never-ending task of growing our boys to become digitally fluent global citizens continues throughout the year. Trinity is proud to be an eSmart school, an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, that uses a cultural change approach to improve cyber safety and reduce cyber bullying.
At Trinity, we encourage your son to realise his potential, pursue his passions and discover his purpose all within the context of a supportive Christian environment. We have guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit for over a century and we know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed.
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