23 March 2020
The digital world has become a sizeable part of the real world for students. While improved access to new technologies provides unprecedented opportunities, there is also a need to nurture in students the complex skills required to thrive in a new world dominated by technology.
Singapore’s Ministry of Education has introduced curriculum changes to nurture digital literacy skills, in addition to updating and reinforcing Character and Citizenship Education to help students withstand online pressures.
But digital literacy also requires educators to take stock of how even a basic skill such as reading and comprehension has changed and how it needs to be taught differently.
The sheer speed and volume of information flow have created perfect conditions for fake news to thrive. This requires youth to learn how to read better, with more discernment. Youth must be taught to differentiate fact from opinion, both in reading texts and in listening to speech, and in forming their own views.
Education must help young people navigate an ambiguous online world. Schools need to help students think for themselves, develop a strong sense of right and wrong, and be open to considering different views and perspectives.