My kids are spending hours a day online. What do you mean they're not digitally literate?!

Results from the latest national assessment round of ICT skills (information and communication technology) show that being a whiz on SnapChat and Instagram won’t prepare kids to face a digital future.

Well, duh.

Proficiency in advanced phone-ology - texting, streaming and posting photos and stories on social media - is one thing. Digital literacy, as defined by the Digital Technologies and ICT Capability units of the Australian Curriculum, is quite another.

Or so suggest results released last week by the National Assessment Program, which found many students’ abilities had actually slumped.  

Instagram Template (28)

Proficiency declining

The assessment compared current student performance on digital literacy with its peak in 2008. Back then, two-thirds of Year 10 students were found to be proficient (and none, presumably, owned their own smartphone.)

Today, only slightly more than half in that age cohort are showing proficiency, despite the soaring rates of mobile device ownership and screen-time use over that period.

Year Six students showed declining levels of digital literacy as well.

time

The Australian Curriculum defines ICT literacy as “The ability of individuals to use ICT appropriately to access, manage and evaluate information, develop new understandings, and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society.”

Two new curricula designed to promote digital literacy - ICT Capability and Digital Technologies - were rolled out in 2015.

No surprises

Should we be surprised that using technology does not necessarily translate into understanding technology? Not really.

  • Did passing notes in school make you a more proficient writer?
  • Did reading comic books or trashy teen mags hone your analytical skills?
  • Did watching lots and lots of television turn you into a TV critic?
  • Did listening to Top 40 radio hone your grasp of ethno-musicology?

We’re guessing probably not.

It’s not that staring at a screen eight or more hours isn’t teaching our children anything. But is it teaching them anything we really want them to learn?


There’s a big difference between being tech savvy and being digitally literate. At Family Zone, our business is helping children use technology critically and mindfully. Learn more at familyzone.com

feature photo credit:  Dmitry Naumov/Shutterstock)


Topics: Parental Controls, Mobile Apps, Cyber Safety, digital literacy

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | youtube | smartphones | WhatsApp | suicide | self-harm | momo
    MOMO unmasked
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Cyber Bullying | Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | online predators | tiktok | paedophile | child predator | Likee
    LIKEE: What parents need to know about this risky TikTok wannabe

    Recent posts

     
    Press the reset button on your kid’s online routine

    COVID blew up our teens’ screen-time. It’s time to get them back on track. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, our children are facing a ...

     
    Bigger families face super-sized screen-time challenges

    If you have more than one child - and statistics show 86 percent of families do - then managing screen-time can be double trouble. Or ...

     
    'Bigorexia' a growing risk for today's boys

    We’re starting to understand how social media can damage girls’ self-esteem - but what about our boys? New research finds disturbing ...

     
    The metaverse: Brave new world - or an upgrade for predators?

    Mixing kids and adult strangers in a self-moderated online environment ... What could possibly go wrong?