8 Digital Skills Children Must Learn

The expansive nature of the internet has changed the way we do almost everything in our lives. Worryingly, our children have a level of access to information we could only dream about.

The explosion of technology has huge social and economic implications. Experts predict that over 90% of the entire human population will have internet access over the next ten years or so. Our digital and phsycial worlds are merging in ways we could never imagine. These changes are exciting, but with change comes the fear of the unknown. And children are at the forefront on this technology revolution.

How children use technology

Children nowadays are using digital technologies and consuming media at a faster rate than ever before. They’re also starting to use technology from younger ages. On average, kids spend seven hours in front of a screen, every single day. More time than they spend with their parents or even at school every day. This can have a profound impact on the well-being of children.

Its all depends on the type of content being consumed and how much time they spend online.

The very thing that makes the internet so beautiful, is also what makes it dangerous to certain vulnerable people. With the internet, children can be exposed to cyberbullying, violent and sexually explicit content as well as scams and theft of sensitive information.

There’s also a digital age gap. The way adults and children use techonlogy is significantly different. This makes it harder for adults to fully understand the risks their kids are being exposed to online. This gap has also helped fuel the huge range of perspectives people have when it comes to acceptable digital etiquette.

What’s the best way top prepare our children for the digital world?

Simple. Ensure they’re educated.

Take a look at this colourful chart on “digital intelligence”:

DQ is a merginf of IQ and EQ, a set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable people to face the challenges and demands of a digital life. The above mentioned abilities can be broken down into the following eight areas:

  • Digital Identity – The ability to manage one’s own digital reputation. This includes awareness of digital persona as well as managing the impact of online presence.
  • Digital Use – The ability to effectively use digital devices and manage controlled use to prevent unhealthy addictions and achieve a balanced lifestyle.
  • Digital Safety – Managing risk online from things like cyberbullying and radicalisation, limiting these risks to an absolute minimum.
  • Digital Security – Ability to detect virus and malware threats. Email phishing scam awareness in particular as this is the most popular form of hacking.
  • Digital EQ – The ability to connect, build rapport and relationships online with other people.
  • Digital Communication – The ability to leverage technology or effective communication.
  • Digital Literacy – The ability to discover, create and share content.
  • Digital Rights – Understanding and upholding legal rights. Knowing what your privacy and freedom of speech rights are.

Above everything else, attaining these abilities should come from a place of desirable human values such as love, empathy and respect. Embodying these values will help ensure that we use the internet in the most productive and responsible way. Cultivating digital intelligence is and increasingly important trait in a world that is dominated by technology.

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