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Digital Citizenship

Beyond the platform: Five skills to teach our Digitally Divergent children before University.

Our students are transcending beyond the tribal nature of these platforms. Instead, they are becoming the “Digital Divergents”- able to use their skills to communicate and flow between each platform with ease. Tech companies have realised that in order to survive, communities require their platforms to be cross compatible.
This has meant that the focus for educators is now to teach and build upon the skills that are universally applicable to all platforms. Focusing on these skills, rather than the platform, prepares your students for their journey into Further Education. Our role as teachers has always been to enable our students to take what they have learnt with them, to help succeed in their chosen paths.

11 years ago, Apple launched it’s iconic “Get a Mac” advertising campaign, which captured the tribal nature of the technology giants worldwide. The Apple market represented the creative risk takers, whereas the Microsoft market was favoured by a desire to achieve maximum productivity in a simple and compatible way. Android was still a baby.

Then in 2009, iPads transformed how we view and interact with technology forever.

Now, the glow-up of Android mobile devices, presence of iPads in our lives from the time we can hold a device, and the ever-increasing portability of Microsoft products is leading to our communities becoming increasingly digitally divergent.

Our students are transcending beyond the tribal nature of these platforms. Instead, they are becoming the “Digital Divergents”- able to use their skills to communicate and flow between each platform with ease. Tech companies have realised that in order to survive, communities require their platforms to be cross compatible.

This has meant that the focus for educators is now to teach and build upon the skills that are universally applicable to all platforms. Focusing on these skills, rather than the platform, prepares your students for their journey into Further Education. Our role as teachers has always been to enable our students to take what they have learnt with them, to help succeed in their chosen paths.

Here are five skills that your students can pick up from you, that they will continue to use, no matter the device choices available to them in their own future. Each one has it’s own blog post.

1. The skill of effective organisation.

2. Skilled Collaborators- Your best effort to create our best work.

3. Application of future skills.

4. Enhanced communication.

5. Digital citizenship

These five were picked because having these digital skills would help any student continue to navigate towards their own successes, no matter their chosen pathway. Of course, the skills provided by using and interacting with the online world are becoming ever more visceral and diverse with the flourishing of educational VR and AR. Students are now just as much the content creators as well as the audience of media, which has the potential in itself to transform how we teach. The lines would continue to blur with every passing year before we can finally say “Citizenship” and actually mean Digital and Physical Citizenship. But, for now, these are my top five. I hope to hear from you on your thoughts on each one!

By Linda Parsons

Author of Digilin Learning.
Follower of Educational Technology enthusiasts, of all subjects. I am an MIE Fellow, Apple teacher and Google Educator. If it can be used as a learning tool, I will be keen for it. Currently a science teacher in the UAE.

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