Topic Reflections

What is the digital world and a digital footprint?

What is the digital world? A better question to ask is how digital are you? Technology is advancing so rapidly and for everyday that passes our lives are becoming even more surrounded by the use technology. We use technology for communication, work, entertainment, news and other daily activities. In education, adapting and learning new ways to teach technology to students is important. A new method for planning educational lessons is to co-collaborate with students, this will lead to effective learning experiences on the use of technology (Prensky, M. 2008). Howell (2012) states “with technology one of the hardest transitions for a teacher is the move from being the expert in the class to being the co-collaborator, and digital technologies often force us to adopt this position”. The way technology rapidly advances, we often find it is the youth who are the most knowledgeable in their own digital world. Educators need to embrace this by working with the students as this is the best approach for increasing their personal knowledge in the digital world. Howell, (2012) mentions that “students today have been born into a digital world, but it is an unequal world.” Not all students will have the access and knowledge of technology. As educators we have to accept that there will be students with diverse skills ranging from fluent technological skills to students who have never even used technology in their life. Often students are unaware of the term ‘digital footprint’. A digital foot print is your history, information, activities, social accounts, and everything to do with you being associated with the internet. The digital footprint as a topic has to be emphasised when being educated to students because students often feel safe knowing they are private online, but not realising their digital foot print is not all that private and that their digital footprint is never fully erased (Ghoussoub, 2015).

This video explores the journey of growing up in a digital world.

Glenn Greenwald gives great explanations to why everyone has to be secure with their digital footprint. (Is a long video but worth the watch for key points).



Ghoussoub, M. (2015). Why Should I care about privacy if I have nothing to hide?. The University of British Columbia. Retrieved from

Greenwald, G. (2014). Why privacy matters. TED. Retrieved from htt://

Growing up in the Digital World – a news2day special. (2014). RTENewsNow. Retrieved from

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxfpord University Press

Petschl, T. (2015). four steps to analyzing your digital footprint. Retrieved from

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-century Digital Learner. Edutopia. Retrieved from


 The Digital divide

digital-divide  - Copy

The “Bridging the Digital Divide” video raises awareness to why it is important that all children have technological skills and  aim to achieve a good level of digital fluency.


As technology advances and our reliability for using technology increases, a new divide is to increasing between the people who can access technology and people who can’t. But the digital divide is not just focusing on the people who can access the technology but have the skills to use it. Simply an individual could have access to all the technology in the world but if they did not have the knowledge to use them than there is no use in having that access. There are several factors that can determine this digital divide and those factors are; income, age, knowledge, location, occupation, interest and many more. The factors that have the biggest effects on the divide are income, location and age. People’s income heavily effects many of the others factors and the wealthier a person is the more likely that person will own more technology than someone who couldn’t afford it. Location plays a major role in determining a person’s position on the divide because in Australia 62 percent of household have access to broadband and only 86 percent having access to the internet (Howell, 2012). The chances of someone owning more technology who lives in a city are higher than to someone who lives in a country town purely because of their internet access and the use of the technology in their location. Age is a considerable factor because due to the youth being born with a digital footprint. Where a person in their seventies would have been born in a world with lesser developed technology, knowledge is highly associated with age. Studies show benefits if more or all people in Australia are connected online (Bentley, 2014). As time passes the shift from perceiving the internet as a novelty to an essential service is happening. Bentley (2014) states “In Europe for example, access to the internet is now deemed a human right and there’s quite a groundswell of support for that to be adopted more globally.”



Aisch, G. (2011).(Image). Global Digital divide. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Bentley, P. (2014). Lack of affordable broadband creating ‘digital divide’. ABC news. Retrieved from

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press

Robinson, K. 2010. (Video) Bridging the Digital divide. TedxRichester.


Digital fluency

Kids excited on laptop - Featured

Digital fluency is a person’s ability to reliably achieve desired outcomes through use of digital technology. Makice (n.d.) mentions “being literate means you know what tools to use and how to use them, while fluency means you also know when and why to use them.” Students entering university for their first year have already the basics for digital fluency, but for the next four years these skills need to be developed (Howell, 2012). Students have used their own personal technologies and technologies in a school setting so their abilities towards using technology at a tertiary level is basic. Digital fluency is heavily correlated to becoming an effective lifelong learner because majority of the information we access is digital (Howell, 2012). Mac Manus (2013) makes a statement about the youth of the twenty first century, “They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers and other digital devices”. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment Reporting Authority heavily focuses on using technology where ever possible to broaden the basic skills of the students so they are better prepared in the digital world. Programs such as word processers, spreadsheets, presentation programs and using online web tools are important and frequently used programs by teachers and students in a learning experience. In such a digital world technology is more involved in people’s lives than ever before, with the advancement and use of technology continuously growing. Without a digital fluency, certain tasks would be very hard, or impossible to complete when so many tasks have to be completed online or with the assistance of technology.



Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration & Creativity. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press

Bauer, Kurt. (2014). (Image). Can the blended classroom help instill “Grit”?. Getting smart. Retrieved from

Mac Manus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. The Guardian. Retrieved from                                   

Makice, K. Digital Fluency. Pinterest. Retrieved from


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