Teaching Digital Literacy Skills to Students with Flowcharts

“When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.” — Douglas Rushkoff

The digital age is an unfolding, very modern construct or phenomenon, a magnificent stage in the evolution of human civilization, and one which exhibits pronounced departures in certain secondary aspects of human existence. The primary mediation of technology – operating in a myriad contexts – defines the digital age. In this evolving timeframe, the idea of literacy is mediated by technology and various levels of human interaction with digital devices, systems, processes, and environments.

Hence, digital literacy is defined as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” Therefore, young citizens such as students and learners must experience and develop digital literacy skills as part of negotiating existence in the digital age. In this context, it is possible to utilize flow-based diagrams to impart a range of digital literacy skills to young citizens.

  • Finding Information on the Global Internet

The ability to find/locate and select information is a central aspect of cultivating digital literacy skills in the contemporary world. It would help to devise segments of connected diagram that depict stages, such as using online search engines, surfing through web pages, locating relevant information, checking the veracity of such information, and using verified information to attain objectives. In addition, flowcharts may depict various stages of each action described above, thereby completing the imagery associated with such ventures. Acts of perusing such models empower students to develop their awareness on digital literacy, and appreciate the importance of such skills in pursuing their education. Students can examine such models in a bid to build their own projects, and gain fluency in digital literacy skills; this form of exercise remains central to more complex achievements that students may attain in the future.

  • Developing a Safety Mindset

Safety in online actions and practices remains a cornerstone of efforts that promote digital literacy skills. It is possible to envisage awareness on online safety as a major factor that enables students/learners to practice the prudent use of online resources. Installing software updates, developing complex passwords, backing up personal data, deploying two-factor authentication systems, and safe Wi-Fi practices can ensure a reasonable degree of safety in online practices of students. Such information structures could be embedded inside flowcharts as part of efforts to raise the awareness of students. These illustrations may also emerge as guiding lights that enable young citizens to cultivate prudent habits when negotiating online systems. Further, students may elect to embellish these diagrams with additional information structures that reinforce the concepts and practices underlying digital literacy skills.

  • The Significance of Offline

Scholars may elect to print and retain offline/paper copies of their assignments and study materials as part of implementing wider practice of digital literacy skills. The rationale for such actions may find representation inside flowchart-based diagrams. Paper copies remain immune to online malfeasance, students can study these and make upgrades/corrections to the material in offline environments, they may develop exact replicas of such materials as required, etc. Further, the offline confers inherently higher levels of safety to information resources; the offline domain also offers an unproblematic method of retaining study materials for extended periods of time. Therefore, it would seem that the offline retains major significance in the domain of digital literacy skills. Additionally, detailed versions of a flowchart could be used describe actual/perceived confluences between the offline and the online domains as a step toward greater appreciation of digital literacy.

  • Exploring Digitalia

Online navigation skills, when allied to various perspectives, can assist students to hone their digital literacy skills. Navigation, in this context, implies a focused exploration of online perspective remains critical to such ventures, because it allows learners/students to infuse diversity and balance into their academic work, thereby helping them attain higher levels of education. Flowcharts may be developed to depict the various junctions between navigation skills and perspectives. Sections of such diagram may also educate students on advanced online navigation, thereby conferring on them multitude of skills required by modern digital natives. The flowchart, therefore, serves a demonstrative function, and remains a key aspect of expanding the use of digital literacy skills.

  • Collaboration Boosts Learning Outcomes

Digitally-enabled collaboration among members of student/learner communities bears significant potential to further the aims of modern education. It is possible to envisage digital literacy skills to include enhanced ability to conduct collaborations in pursuit of education projects. The flowchart may serve as a tool that outlines the techniques of digital collaboration – via instant messaging, email, voice/video conversations, online meetings, and digital spaces such as online messaging boards, among others. Preliminary learners may peruse these connected diagrams prior to embarking on voyages of discovery; meanwhile, advanced learners may deploy a combination of such methods to drive education projects to fruition. Additionally, it is possible to add layers to connected diagrams in a bid to expand applications of digital literacy skills – for instance, inviting teachers/instructors to shared digital spaces – to benefit the learning processes undertaken by students and learners.

  • Primacy of Multiple Skillsets

Differentiated sets of digital skills and competences retain special significance when students embark on expanding their engagement with advanced levels of education, research, etc. Diverse skills are especially required when students/learners participate in large projects that span multiple academic disciplines, or are designed to operate over a variety of timelines. We coul formulate connected illustrations that outline “sophisticated methods and abilities for accessing and using (a variety of) knowledge resources, online databases, and emerging technologies such as cloud computing.” The flowchart may serve an effective enabler in such scenarios, and empower students to participate in advanced projects.

Further, the flowchart could be viewed as an interesting manifestation of method, one that encourages learners to ideate and build and replicate custom mechanisms that drive deeper/expansive participation in digital domains.

  • Rethinking Literacy in the Information Age

The concept of information literacy represents a key aspect of developing and practicing digital literacy skills. Information literacy may be defined as cultivated ability that allows students/learners to build awareness on the veracity of information available in online platforms. Teachers and instructors could assist in this project by designing flowcharts that depict methods of verifying information, assessing the importance of certain aspects of information flows, and assorted techniques. In addition, these instances of focused visual constructs may find embedment within larger imagery that describes overarching projects of digital literacy. Instructors, on their part, may use flowcharts to devise/formulate new and upgraded versions of methods in pursuit of reinforcing digital literacy skills. These efforts could equip young adults to boost effective participation in the unfolding expanses of the digital age.

  • To Conclude

These instances of exploration and ideation can help to spark new perspectives on deploying flowcharts that inculcate digital literacy skills in learners and students. Each instance of diagram-driven initiative empowers educators to develop new momentum in the headline topic – it is possible to engineer alternative versions of diagram to explore new perspectives in digital literacy, examine anew the confluence between such literacy and the development of a digital-first society. Students, on their part, may utilize their learning experiences to groom new generations of learners in securing their status as bona fide digital natives.

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