The Importance of being Digitally Savvy
Technology is everywhere. Wherever people go in the 21st century today you are surrounded by technology. It has evolved so much over the years and has now integrated itself firmly into society and has become a major part of our day to day lives. Whether it be using a mobile phone to text a friend or switching on the computer to ‘write’ or I should say type an essay; my generation and the next, have grown up in a world where technology is at the forefront of communication and learning – we are the digital natives. Prensky (2001) explores this idea of digital natives and immigrants; suggesting that today’s students have changed drastically and there is a noticeable difference compared to our ancestors. This therefore has had a direct impact on the way we learn and think in relation to our educational lives. From personal experience, using a library to find out information is a thing of the past and ‘Googling it’ is just what we do when we need to find the answer to something. Being digitally savvy and literate in this ever evolving lifestyle has therefore become so important in the current society, especially for teachers and people in a working environment, due to the extent of technology out there in the world.
Educationalists within today’s society have the added pressure of learning this new way of life and become digitally savvy in order to keep up with the moving times. You walk into classrooms and lecture halls and noticeably see how they have progressed with the new technology, as they now use smart-boards and other teaching aids to help improve the learning for students. These devices are used to help engage the children in their learning – education is conforming to a society that now lives in this digital age and that is one reason why it is so important to be digitally literate in this new world. Prensky (2001, p.2.) also presents the idea that students don’t understand their teachers because they are the digital immigrants which can therefore hinder their development. But should educationalists really have to alter their ways in order to teach this new breed of digitally literate students? In my opinion, yes they should. Times are moving on and digital technology is the way forward. We want information fast, we want fun and interactive learning instead of sitting and reading a book. Digital natives won’t go backwards and change our ways; this is life as we know it, but our older generations can. They can learn new things, they can embrace the change and become digitally savvy in order to improve the learning for children and engage them more during a lesson that would otherwise be mediocre and boring. After all, it has been said that our brains have been altered to learn with technology and it may be impossible to go back to past ways of teaching (Prensky, 2001 p.3.).
Even in the workplace, technology is a major part of the smooth running of a business. From conference calls to emails, technology has facilitated business to make it faster and easier for companies across the world (Jones, 2013). This is therefore another reason why people should embrace our digital world, as there are so many jobs that now require people to use technology as most basic tasks are now computerised.
Technology is here, and it’s here to stay.
– Jones, P. (2013). How evolving technology will change the business world. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/technology/business-technology/10298682/future-workplace-technology.html
– Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. MCB University Press, 9(5), 1-6.