Many of today’s 21st-century students are tech-savvy. And it’s no surprise–the relevance of technology in our day-to-day lives has grown exponentially over the past few decades. We can ask a search engine almost anything and receive an answer in less than a second; and with a web of interconnected devices, we are nearly always plugged into the internet with access to tools for seemingly every purpose.
As opposed to any other generation, today’s students are entirely growing up in the 21st century and are, therefore, deeply familiar with these technologies (among many others). That said, this familiarity does not preclude them from needing instruction focused on honing their technology skills.
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To examine why, let’s myth-bust common misconceptions about the tech-savvy 21st century students.
Myth 1: Digital Native = Digital Citizen
Today’s students are digital natives, but knowing how to turn on devices, start applications, or download images does not make them digitally proficient. Although growing up with technology may lower barriers to using it, it doesn’t equate to knowing why, when, and how technology should be used. It’s important for 21st-century students to have digital citizenship skills, so they understand what image is appropriate to use in a presentation to convey a message, stay safe as they navigate the web, and determine credible online sources.