By CompTIA Spark
There’s no denying it: Technology is everywhere. It’s integrated into our everyday lives, from scrolling social media to answering emails to streaming music and movies. That’s why information and digital fluency have become vital skills for people of all ages. That said, the earlier students are exposed to these skills, the better.
Middle school, in particular, is a great time for students to start learning information and building a foundation of digital fluency. It’s a crucial point in their academic journey when learning these skills can become a key factor in their success inside, or outside, of school.
Breaking Down Information and Digital Fluency
Middle school students are digital natives, having grown up in an era defined by constant connectivity and digital technologies. However, being familiar with technology is not the same as being digitally fluent.
Overall, developing information and digital fluency for middle school students can teach them how to use technology proficiently and responsibly at an earlier age—skills they can apply to the rest of their schooling and even their future careers.
The Importance of Information and Digital Fluency for Students
Middle schoolers are the future trailblazers of the digital world. And information and digital fluency are their secret weapons to help them embark on their digital journey with confidence.
Here are five different ways information and digital fluency can benefit students:
1. Navigating the Digital Landscape Effectively
The internet provides an overwhelming amount of information; some accurate and some not so much. As middle schoolers explore different websites for research and school projects, they’ll need the ability to evaluate and filter information effectively.
Teaching students the principles of information fluency turns them into fact-checking pros. They’ll be able to identify reliable and credible sources and distinguish fact from opinion, empowering them to produce well-researched and informed assignments.
2. Learning to Think Critically
Digital fluency goes beyond surface-level interactions with technology. Students who are digitally fluent develop strong critical thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting data, recognizing patterns and solving problems with digital tools; all skills that can transfer to various academic disciplines and are highly valued in the job market.
3. Establishing Digital Safety and Privacy Practices
Let’s face it: The online world can be an intimidating place. Information and digital fluency equips students with the tools and knowledge to protect themselves and others from potential online dangers.
They’ll learn how to safeguard their personal information, spot online scams and avoid online threats—all essential skills for personal security and protecting sensitive data in professional settings.
4. Embracing Technological Advancements
Technology is constantly evolving, and being digitally fluent ensures that students can adapt to the latest trends and advancements. Digital fluency enables them to grasp these concepts with confidence and ease, fostering a passion for innovation and problem-solving.
5. Preparing for Future Careers
Employers and schools are seeking tech-savvy individuals who can adapt, innovate and thrive in our digital-focused society. Embracing information and digital fluency in middle school gives students a competitive edge that sets them apart from the crowd and allows them to navigate the rapidly evolving job market.
And it’s not just tech-specific jobs that digital fluency prepares them for. We consider every job to be a tech job as technology continues to evolve and be implemented in everyday life. From small, locally owned businesses to giant global corporations, there’s a high chance that the middle school students of today will be interacting with the technology of tomorrow. Digital fluency teaches them how to grow with the digital world and prepares them for any career they pursue, whether it’s “tech-based” or not.
Information and digital fluency are vital skills for middle school students to learn as they grow up in an increasingly digital world. By integrating these skills into their curriculum, educators can ensure that their students are equipped with the 21st-century skills they need to succeed.
Learning information and digital fluency skills at a young age also lays the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, curiosity and digital citizenship. Like you, we believe information and digital fluency is as important to students’ future success as reading, writing and math. Together, we can unlock students’ potential in technology.
Discover how CompTIA Spark’s programs help students develop these skills and empower them to thrive in the digital world of today – and the future.