School-going children of the digital age surf the internet on a daily basis. There is an abundance of information available on the internet, for every question that pops up in even the most inquisitive minds. Children often consult the internet for all their queries! Whether it be for school projects, homework, movie recommendations, chatting with friends online or even reading the news.
What is digital literacy?
We live in a very fast-paced world which makes it hard for us to constantly keep in touch with events taking place all over the world. Like adults, it’s highly important for children to keep up with the news.
Digital Media literacy is not only knowing how to use online mediums but also how to choose them. An internet user needs to consume digital content not only with an open mind, but also with scrutiny and caution. Digital media literacy is an important part of socially integrating with the world, and is an important part of a child’s education!
There are several advantages of the wide availability of digital information on the internet!
- An extensive variety of information and opinions – Digital media and multimedia help children with projects and school work. The internet provides them with tonnes of extra information and an opportunity to read about different opinions about historical events in history. This helps them see world events through a different lens. It makes them sharper and able to sift a lot of information to find the meat of the matter.
- Sustainable for the environment – Using digital mediums instead of paper or physical copies is really good for the planet. In the 21st century, there is a stress on sustainability and eco-friendliness now more than ever. Using, sharing and even compiling their own internet resources teaches kids how to follow an eco-friendly model of ethical content consumption. This prepares them with a certain tech-savviness.
- Material that can easily be referenced time and again – Having a webpage bookmarked or a PDF downloaded is more convenient than having notes scattered all over the place! This means there will no longer be a need for magazine cutouts, newspaper clippings or printouts. It’s more convenient to use web tools and web pages instead of physical newspapers and big, heavy textbooks.
- Budget-friendly and affordable! – This is perhaps the most persuasive point in favour of digital media. There’s so much news and information on the internet that can be shared for free, through links and through social media! It becomes easy to research a topic and find as many examples and expert opinions as one would want.
- Portability – As long as you have a screen and a stable internet connection, the digital news and is accessible in even the most remote part of the world! The internet has connected people from all over the world! People are now able to forge business and interpersonal relationships from any corner of the world forming a global village. Such is the power of connectivity!
- The swiftness of digital media– The power of digital media is all pervasive and has become a part of our daily lives. We as people are now used to being constantly updated with the latest developments in politics, business, sports and pop culture. Unlike watching the TV or reading a newspaper, when you log onto the internet, you can choose which news you want to hear more about. Online media immediately covers breaking news. This way readers have immediate access to all the news stories, instead of reading about the news a day later in newspapers.
These wide number of benefits have persuaded many businesses and experts to form an online presence to increase their viewership as well. However, when it comes to the content that kids are consuming, it is not just the mode you have to be mindful of but the matter as well.
How can I help my child develop their digital media literacy?
Children growing up in the information age are also in need of guidance when it comes to surfing the net for news. Many parents tend not to interfere with their child’s internet activity. But while the internet is a treasure trove of knowledge, it can also become a source of distraction and detrimental material. There is a lot of material on the internet that a parent feels they need to protect their child from. So how can you ensure your child is safe on the internet without missing out?
Easy! The goal is to find the most credible, compatible and fact-checked sources of information for your child. There are specialised websites that make news for kids fun, safe and an educational experience. This ensures your child is on top of the news and on the right track!