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 | Screen time | Mobile Apps | musical.ly | Social Media | tiktok | child development | self-harm | sexualisation
    One mum's jaw-dropping journey through TikTok
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Pornography | Cyber Safety | Social Media | parenting | digital parenting
    Pornstar to parents: shame on you!
    Parental Controls | Screen time | musical.ly | online predators | tiktok
    It's the world's most popular app. And you've probably never heard of it.
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

     
    "Never let a good crisis go to waste"

    Winston Churchill’s famous observation - made during the bleakest days of World War II - have a lot to teach us today, as we grapple with ...

     
    Juggling screen-time in the Age of Coronavirus, and other feats of extreme parenting

    Chances are good both you and your partner are now working from home - and quite possibly trying to home-school the kids at the same time. ...

     
    A third of child pornographers are ... children?!

    Child abuse images online are increasingly being generated by kids themselves, in a heartbreaking bid for “likes.”

     
    Managing screen-time when everybody's stuck at home

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, schools have closed in more than 70 countries. Australia is not yet one of them. But infectious ...