One of the many decisions we make as teachers is how to approach technology in a balanced way. The digital world is our students’ world, and tech has the potential to engage and inspire them. But we also want to avoid contributing to digital distraction.
One approach to finding this balance is to thoughtfully integrate tech into the culture of our class. By infusing it into the routines and practices that we and our students regularly engage in, students develop digital fluency: a broad set of skills related to tech use.
Digital fluency goes beyond knowing how to use any particular app or device. It’s a general mindset and know-how that helps students use technology to achieve their own interests and goals, whatever those may be. This helps students also learn media balance, because the more they see technology as a tool to achieving other things, the more they see it as just that—a tool—and not as something to be used uncritically.
So what does this actually look like in the classroom? Here are a few specific ways to infuse tech into your classroom culture.
(Next page: 3 ways to build digital fluency in your classroom)