At Ilham Childcare, we want children to learn by engaging with their world. We know that a holistic education can help children become well-rounded, develop their interests at a young age, and gain a lifelong love for education. We’re proud to provide martial arts, music, soccer, arts and crafts, and language courses as a part of our curriculum, but the COVID19 pandemic and the dominance of the internet, inspired us to add an additional enrichment programme to our curriculum: digital literacy.
Technology is now prevalent in every aspect of our lives and it’s likely that our students have interacted with technology in some way before their parents enrolled them in our programme. It’s understandable that every parent has allowed their child to play games on their smartphone or tablet as a reward.
The COVID19 pandemic forced everyone to improvise and find ways to conduct school and enrichment programs safely. We currently use the Smile and Learn app as an extension of the students’ learning. The app we use is interactive and we’ve been able to explore different topics with our students through videos and other activities.
Changes in our world made technology accessible to children even before the pandemic. As such, it’s important that young children who come into contact with technology and the internet learn how to use it wisely, effectively, and safely. Our digital literacy component aims to teach preschool age children how to do just that!
Why is digital literacy important?
Like traditional literacy, or the skills of reading and writing, digital literacy helps people navigate technology and the internet. Being digitally literate means being able to look for correct information, use it appropriately, and even being able to create digital content. Technology has its limits, and people who are good at digital literacy are able to work within those parameters, know the difference between unsafe and safe websites and apps and knowing when not to use some of them.
Digital literacy is intertwined with being able to computer literacy, but it’s not the same thing. Both of these skills can help the other.
Teaching your children what social media and email are is only a start to understanding what digital literacy is. Being able to update a social media profile, open up a Netflix account, and conduct research online is great, but there’s a bit more to this. Creating content, such as videos, blogs, and recordings can help people land careers, connect with others, and can be creatively fulfilling. It’s equally important to be able to protect oneself online, knowing when to post things, and doing so at the right age with the proper training.
What experts say
UNICEF has named digital literacy as an important skill for all children even when they’re offline. Today’s gadgets often include facial recognition or fingerprint technology, and both public and private entities use artificial intelligence to keep track of people. These developments affect the lives of children and influence how they interact with the world.
Today, children are able to play, socialize, and interact online, much like their parents, teachers, and caretakers do as well.
It’s important that digital literacy courses start to focus on teaching young children because of the prevalence of technology in their lives. Successful programmes can consider a child’s culture, local practices, and also teach them about regional, national, and international uses for technology that currently exist. Adults may also hesitate to teach students digital literacy because of rightful concerns with excess screen time or safety, but it’s possible to tailor these programmes to children’s needs and build upon them as they get older.
What will be going on in Ilham’s digital literacy classes?
At Ilham, we make sure that learning is fun and interactive. We strive to teach students in a multicultural, enriching environment. Digital literacy is a part of our enrichment offerings for levels N2 to K2. We teach children how to use laptops, cameras, and green screens so they can create and edit their own videos. Our classes will also teach students how to unleash their creativity by ensuring they record and edit their own audio as well.
The digital age can also be a time to develop smart learning techniques that can teach your child to create content, develop their skills, make friends, and interact with people online while learning how to avoid dangers. Our experiences with the Montessori Method have taught us that children are more apt to learn a skill they already use every day. Ilham is excited to share what we’ve learned about digital literacy with our students as early as preschool, and to provide them with tools they can use for the rest of their lives.