Digital Fluency


(Cuban, 2014)

I like this cartoon, as do my older children.

My parents may not be equally enthusiastic!

Indisputably, today’s children were born into a technology-rich world.

As a pre-service teacher, I feel a responsibility to be digitally fluent, if I am soon to help them to prepare for their future (MacManus, 2013).

So, what is digital fluency? Is it simply being able to use a computer?


(“Christian”, 2011)

As this cartoon suggests, digital literacy, (being capable of operating technologies required for daily life), might often be sufficient, but it is not mastery.

For Shaun McCusker (2010), digital fluency is the “ability to effortlessly manipulate, transform and move information across various media and platforms”.


(Hammond, 2015)

So, how can teachers and students become truely technologically proficient?

White (2013) believes that digital fluency is so vital for the future success of school graduates, that a school subject of that name should be ideally introduced, to teach technology terms; design; digital security, critical thinking; research skills; and digital commons and copyright.

Certainly, professional development opportunities for educators should focus on technology integration into the classroom and learning process (Holland, 2013).

As teachers, we might create a class blog to assign research projects, and allow students to solve problems digitally with spreadsheet programmes and search engines (Holland, 2013).

Opportunities such as the Hour of Code, or other childrens’ programming tools (Jones, 2014), give young people an insight into how technology works, and student networking software such as Edmodo can teach digital collaboration.

I also see amazing potential for students create wonderful content using presentation tools like Prezi in the place of traditional poster-type projects (Howell, 2012).

I believe that together we must prioritise working towards developing “digital content creators, technology innovators, and digitally fluent learners” (Howell, 2012), if we are to serve the future well.

Words: 297


“Christian”. (2011). [image]. The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency. Retrieved from:

Cuban, L. (2014). [image]. Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice. Retrieved from:

Hammond, N. (2015). [image]. Sports Journalism. Retrieved from:

Holland, B. (2013). Building technology fluency: Preparing students to be digital learners. Retrieved from:

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Jones, M. (2014). Cracking the Code. Retrieved from:

MacManus, M. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian. Retrieved from:

McCusker, S. (2010). “Go Where You Grow”. Retrieved from:

New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2016) Towards Digital Fluency. Retrieved from:

White, G. (2013). Digital fluency for the digital age. Retrieved from:

Wolfe, J. (2014). [image]. Jessica Wolfe Blog. Retrieved from:

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