For many children and teens today, using certain parts of the internet feels as easy as breathing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they know everything they need to know to stay safe, use common academic and workplace tools as effectively as possible, and contribute to a healthy digital community.
In today’s world, digital literacy and digital citizenship are key skill sets for just about everyone. Many schools have recognized this fact and created a digital literacy curriculum to help their students succeed. But with technology changing faster than ever, these curriculums can quickly become outdated.
Here’s why your school should consider updating your digital literacy curriculum, even if it’s just a few years old.
How Technology Has Changed in the Past Few Years (And How That Affects Your Digital Literacy Curriculum)
Schools and Workplaces Use Far More Technology Today
The trend toward doing school and work tasks online grew throughout the 2010s, but it really took off during the pandemic. In the past few years, it has become increasingly challenging for young people to get by without digital literacy skills that their parents may not know how to teach them.
Many of your students may already have advanced digital literacy skills, but others likely need help learning how to use common tools, apps, and systems properly. Even students who feel confident may not know enough about internet safety practices to keep their information secure.
The Most Popular Tools Have Changed
You wouldn’t use a how-to guide from 2015 to learn how to use the most recent version of Microsoft Word, would you? Digital tools can change dramatically in just a few years with new layouts, new features, and new best practices.
If your school’s digital literacy curriculum teaches students how to use a popular, multi-functional platform like Google Workspace, you may need to update it far more often than you think. One of the easiest ways to keep your lessons relevant is by using a regularly updated digital curriculum like Yeti Academy.
Social Media Has Shifted
Young people having social media accounts isn’t exactly new, but the platforms they prefer and the ways those platforms work today are different from just a few years ago. Outdated references and information in your curriculum will make students roll their eyes at best – and potentially leave them without critical information about the platforms they do use.
If your social media safety lessons have a lot of references to Facebook and Myspace rather than TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, your technology curriculum definitely needs a refresh.
There Are New Sources of Misinformation
We all know that there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet, but most of us – including today’s students – don’t always know how to identify it. What’s worse, new technologies have made it easier to spread certain types of misinformation than ever, including fake photos and videos.
Your digital literacy and citizenship curriculum needs to be updated regularly so that students know how to find credible sources and avoid spreading false information. The research skills and knowledge students needed in the early 2000s and 2010s aren’t always the same skills they need today.
What to Look For in a Digital Literacy Curriculum
A great digital literacy curriculum will include:
- Hands-on project opportunities that give students a chance to try using tools and features in different ways.
- Multimodal learning opportunities to help all students learn in the best formats for them.
- Videos and images that help students understand the lessons.
- The tools that are most commonly used in education settings and/or workplaces.
- A fun theme or gamification component to keep students engaged.
- A digital citizenship component that teaches online safety practices.
If your school is looking for an engaging, easy-to-use, and regularly updated digital literacy curriculum, try Yeti Academy. Students and teachers love our interactive modules. We include all the resources teachers need to effectively teach digital literacy, including lesson plans, activities, slide shows, tests, and more.
Our Google Workspace curriculum for grades 3-5, Snowboard Shop, has a fun series of activities that take students through Google Docs, Drive, Drawings, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Gmail, Calendar, and Sites. Students use their growing skills to help Sadie Shred launch a successful snowboard shop.
For grades 6-9, we offer a more extensive Google Workspace curriculum called Theme Parks which also includes folder and file arrangement skills, data analysis, Maps, Sites, and much more. Students use what they learn to build their very own virtual theme park. Plus, Yeti Academy intentionally includes digital citizenship concepts in all of our curricula.
We also offer separate digital citizenship courses to help students learn how to use technology safely and constructively. Super Citizenship, a module that includes superhero-themed videos and an illustrated scenario-based quiz, is designed for grades 3-5. Sports PR Agency, our module for older students, uses individual and collaborative projects and problem-based scenarios to teach concepts.
Yeti Academy is designed to work seamlessly in classroom, remote, or hybrid learning environments. Try Yeti for free today!