Nurturing Digital Literacy in Today’s Kids: A Parent’s Guide

We often call today’s kids digital natives, but that doesn’t automatically make them digitally literate. While kids are great at using technology to find information, many struggle to critically evaluate what they discover and often face challenges with tech-based problem-solving.

Digital literacy is more than just knowing how to use digital tools. It’s about finding, organizing, understanding, evaluating, and analyzing information through digital technology. It also involves knowing what to share online and with whom. Online schools, like those offered by K12, can help students learn to use digital tools safely and effectively.

As parents, we play a key role in nurturing our children’s digital literacy. By teaching them to become truly digitally literate, we can keep them safe online and help ensure their success in our digital world. Here are some practical tips and resources to help you get started:

Language Literacy: Resources like this Learning Liftoff post offer excellent starting points for kids interested in programming and multimedia content creation. And schools that offer career technical education (CTE) programs provide opportunities for students to explore digital writing, coding, and multimedia creation.

Information Literacy: Teach your child how to find and evaluate online information effectively using activities like the Google a Day to help them hone their search skills.

Connection Literacy: While monitoring online activity is important, focus on teaching your child essential digital safety skills. Discuss online issues openly and empower them to make informed decisions. Explore resources like our blog post on Keeping Kids Safe Online for further guidance.

(Re)design Literacy: Help your child understand the ethical and legal considerations of creating and sharing digital content. Resources like YouTube’s kid-friendly video will help them understand copyright laws.

Tech Skills Prepare Kids for the Future

It’s clear kids need to be digitally literate to succeed in their future jobs, but the benefits they gain from tech know-how are evident long before they enter the workforce. Tech skills help them learn things like problem-solving, following instructions, and communicating.

Be sure your child’s school teaches necessary tech skills and offers career education courses that allow your child to explore the wide variety of paths open to them.  K12-powered online schools, for instance, offer more than 30 career pathways that teach students specialized skills through relevant courses alongside their regular curriculum.

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