Digital literacy 'as important as reading and writing'
Considering the importance placed on digital literacy in many career roles, the new 2014 curriculum seems a step in the right direction – but does more still need to be done?
By Josie Gurney-Read
8:00AM GMT 11 Nov 2013
The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group Limited
1. When I was at school, ICT was labelled, rightly or wrongly, as the “doss lesson”. Unlike English, maths and science, ICT was not tested and, as such, was universally thought of as an hour of either surfing the internet, or falling asleep over yet another lesson in Microsoft Office.
2. Considering the importance placed on digital literacy in many career ...view middle of the document...
9. However, whilst progression in the standard of digital literacy in schools is slowly improving, Jodie Lopez, Champion Schools Coordinator at Pearson thinks that more needs to be done to embed these advances across the whole curriculum.
10. “I think there is still a big gap to be narrowed between the schools that are and the schools that aren’t incorporating digital literacy into the whole curriculum,” she says.
11. “I was made ICT coordinator in 2009 at the school I previously taught at and it was very much my vision that ICT shouldn’t be seen as a stand alone subject.”
12. “I set up gettingintoliteracy.com because I wanted to focus on using ICT in literacy, but ideally these skills would be implemented across other subjects as well.
13. "In art, for example, the curriculum states that children should be able to use paint, pencil and clay, but nothing about digital, and yet, most art jobs that you would go into now, would involve a huge element of digital. That is where more changes need to happen.”
14. Embedding digital literacy lessons and, furthermore, social media across the curriculum certainly opens up a variety of educational tools for teachers.
15. In a recent survey conducted by Pearson, figures suggest that around one in six 15 year olds use social media for careers advice, while only 1 per cent of 15 year olds prioritise information from careers books.
16. Open access social media in schools can of course have its downsides – but this is yet another area where an emphasis on digital literacy can help young people.
17. “If you want your kids to be smart and safe in the digital world – whether that is in school or out of school – having them understand how the technology works, how copyright works, how identity works, is way more important than whether they have access to information or not” says Mark.
18. “The focus of a lot of schools seems to be...