What are the chances of you reading this online? If you ask us, it’s 100%. We don’t have a crystal ball – it just goes to show that digital literacy is such an undeniable part of our lives these days.
Even our parents, who were not born in a digital age, are forwarding videos on Whatsapp and surfing Facebook like they are old hands at it.
Even so, the Singapore government has been encouraging seniors to be digitally ready, especially when it comes to discerning fake news and making e-payments. If the old folks are taking steps to improve their digital skills, then all the more you should consider enrolling your child in an international school in Singapore that places a strong focus on digital literacy on top of a high quality International Baccalaureate education, a robust arts programme and taking the STEAM approach to learning.
Here are the top 3 reasons why:
It encourages responsible digital citizenship
On the world wide web, some people may mistake anonymity as the licence to behave irresponsibly. But as a responsible digital citizen, it’s important to follow the golden rules of digital etiquette – not only to play well with others but also to protect yourself from online predators or people with bad intentions. Some of these golden rules include:
- avoid using capital letters when communicating online since it’s commonly regarded as “shouting”
- avoid sharing personal information online since anyone (and we do mean anyone!) can see and use it to your detriment
- the same goes for sharing other people’s personal information online (otherwise known as doxxing) because the Singapore government is seeking to make it punishable by jail or fine up to $5000
- Think twice before posting anything – is it true, is it kind and is it necessary?
There are more unspoken rules of engagement that we haven’t covered of course, but your child can pick them up with the guidance of a digitally responsible school. Canadian International School (CIS), for one, is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School that has also adopted the K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. This means that your child is in the good hands of a school that keeps itself updated on the top digital concerns and takes the initiative to prepare students to make smart choices online and off.
It supports lifelong learning
Have you recently searched for a YouTube video on how to make a certain recipe? This wasn’t possible back in the good old days when our only source of information was from books and teachers. Today, you can find your answer to nearly any question almost immediately online.
Since information is just a click away, it makes your child’s learning richer, more colourful and accessible. There is no limit to the creative platforms they can use to express themselves and they can even access networks of like-minded individuals who share their interest. In some cases, your child might even be able to further expand their learning and possible professional opportunities just by doing a simple search!
To gain access to all the wonderful information and knowledge, your child will have to learn how to be adept at using digital devices. That’s where a school like CIS comes into the picture because it integrates digital devices and applications with their educational curriculum.
It arms them with the ability to discern the authenticity of information
At the same time, with the explosion of information online, sometimes it might be difficult to discern the authenticity. Many of us are savvy enough to tell when something smells fishy but your child may not be similarly armed. You can guide them at home of course, but your child’s international school can boost that progress with the right skills to develop a critical mindset, check the information source, and examine the information with a fine comb.
At CIS, students are given opportunities to take ownership of their learning through inquiry. By questioning what they know and finding new ways to explain something, the art of discernment is ingrained in CIS students from a very young age.
It encourages collaboration
Cornell University defines digital literacy as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet”. If you think this sounds like it needs lots of collaboration, you are right! After all, good content doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. It has to be created, discovered, evaluated and utilised for its usefulness, and shared with the mass audience.
Thanks to the collaborative nature of the IB education framework and STEAM learning approach, students at CIS learn how to pool their resources for the benefit of everyone and this often translates well in the digital world where we spend most of our time!
And there you have it – the top 3 reasons why preparing your child to be a digitally literate citizen is important and how the right international school in Singapore can help you do that.