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The importance of digital literacy for children

The importance of digital literacy for children

Technology has become a major part of our lives today. From the beeping of the smartphone alarm in the morning to the glowing of tablets as we browse the internet late at night, our entire experience is infused with technological marvels.

Our collective dependence on these gadgets may seem like everyone is adequately equipped with the skills to navigate the digital world, but that’s far from the truth. With everything available at a few taps on our mobile devices, it has been easy to take this accessibility for granted and rely on just a few ‘apps’ to fulfil our daily tasks. But what happens when those apps break down and are no longer usable, or when we are suddenly required to perform digital tasks unfamiliar to us?

As the world moves forward with more disruptive new technologies on the horizon, digital literacy will become an extremely important skill for children to learn.

What does it mean to be digitally literate?

Being digitally literate means understanding how to use technology and the internet competently and safely, as well as understanding how technology can be used to improve their lives.

The proliferation of computers and the internet means that it is important for children to develop their digital literacy skills now so they can use them throughout life. With digital literacy, children will be able to operate digital tools much more easily and efficiently, while enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills by learning to navigate complex online information and analyse digital media. It can also help them develop creativity and innovation by exploring even more tools and platforms for creating and sharing content.

Digital literacy can also help children succeed in school and later in life by giving them access to a wealth of educational resources and opportunities. Children who are proficient in digital literacy may be better equipped to complete online research, participate in digital collaboration with classmates, and use educational technology tools to enhance their learning (like Geniebook for example). It goes without saying that being digitally literate will also prepare children for their eventual entering of the workforce, where digital skills are likely to be much more highly valued and necessary than they are now.

How do I start training my child to be digitally literate?

Encouraging your child's digital literacy can begin at a young age by introducing them to age-appropriate educational apps and games that teach coding or other computer science skills. As they get older, you may want to consider allowing gradual access to social media platforms under your supervision, so that your child can learn about responsible online behaviour and how best interact with others in a virtual space.

In the event that your child has shown some interest in technology, you could also help nurture their curiosity by enrolling them in after-school programs or clubs related to computer science or robotics, so that they can expand on what it means for them to be digitally literate.

With all that said, it’s important to note that while digital literacy involves interacting with the technology and the content derived from it, they should ideally do so in moderation to reduce the risk of internet addiction.


Parents should undoubtedly invest time and effort into teaching their children about the importance of being digitally literate and equip them with tools necessary to make informed decisions when using technology responsibly. With these tools in hand, children will grow up knowing how to make full use of digital resources both online and offline to advance their academic and personal goals, while being savvy enough to keep themselves safe from various online threats.

By teaching children about the importance of digital literacy early on, we are also helping to prepare them for future success in the real world. With the rise of AI and even more disruptive technologies today and in the near future, they will need every advantage to help them adapt into a more technologically advanced society in their adulthood.

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