Despite being unable to clearly define the attributes of digital fluency, and the ages at which children acquire these skills, I was aware of its importance. As Resnick correctly envisaged in 2002, digital fluency has “become a prerequisite for obtaining jobs, participating meaningfully in society, and learning throughout a lifetime” (as cited in White, 2013, p. 7). I had assumed that “technology neophytes” would be considerably more digitally fluent than described in Howell (2012, p. 133) because of the prevalence of mLearning and the increasing array of games, educational apps and websites available. However, contrary to my presumption, gaming skills are different to those required for formal learning: gamers are not required to create or code, which is akin to having the ability to read but not write (Gee, 2011; Howell, 2012, p. 133; Resnick, 2012). In spite of that, a convergence is underway between gaming, coding and education that may result in digital fluency benefits for students and teachers alike.
Watch Mitch Resnick’s TEDx presentation (2012) to learn about the importance of children learning to code.
Games now require more critical engagement and higher order thinking than ever before, fostering the cognitive skills that education strives to instil while maintaining user engagement. These benefits are harnessed in Class Craft (http://www.classcraft.com/), a gamification platform that can be implemented within classrooms to promote interdependent learning and improve student behaviour. With an increasing focus on the benefits of gaming and coding, the minimum standards of digital fluency are likely to increase.
Listen to James Paul Gee (2011) discuss gaming in education.
Accordingly, creating digital artefacts has strengthened my learning and digital fluency. Despite being a digital immigrant (Prensky, as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 6), and certainly not a gamer, I would estimate my level of digital fluency to be in the top 30% of the population due to skills that I have acquired through my career in graphic design. However, although I am proficient in some aspects of digital technology, my acquisition of skills plateaued before I returned to study.
Gee, J. P. (2011, August 4). Games and education scholar James Paul Gee on video games, learning and literacy [Video file]: DMLResearchHub. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNfPdaKYOPI
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
Resnick, M. (2012, November). Mitch Resnick: Let’s teach kids to code. TEDxBeaconStreet [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/mitch_resnick_let_s_teach_kids_to_code – t-992414
White, G. K. (2013). Digital fluency: Skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning