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Lords call for digital literacy to be ‘fourth pillar’ of education

21 March 2017

From The Bookseller:

A group of Lords has called on the government to make digital literacy sit alongside reading, writing and mathematics as a “fourth pillar” of education.

The Lords Communications Committee report “Growing Up With The Internet” has demanded intervention “at the highest level of government” after hearing evidence that the internet does not take sufficient account of the fact that the needs of children are different to those of adults.

The current regime of self–regulation is “underperforming”, it said.

The committee said that digital literacy -the skills and knowledge to critically understand the internet – is vital for children to navigate the online world and should sit alongside reading, writing and mathematics “as the fourth pillar of a child’s education”.

. . . .

“It is no longer sufficient to teach digital skills in specialist computer science classes to only some pupils,” the report said. “We recommend that digital literacy sit alongside reading, writing and mathematics as the fourth pillar of a child’s education; and that no child should leave school without a well-rounded understanding of the digital world.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller


10 Comments to “Lords call for digital literacy to be ‘fourth pillar’ of education”

  1. Another Anonymous

    Have they defined ‘literacy’ in this digital case? (They may be shocked to discover that most kids understand the internet better than they do.)

  2. Specialist computer science classes are for teaching programming, which may or may not have anything to do with the internet. Two separate animals.

    My 5 yo has been navigating the internet since she was 2 or 3. It’s amazing how much they can pick up at such a young age.

    The wide open spaces of the internet is very much like the wild wild west. Parents need to make sure the kids are supervised.

  3. I think this is a case of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. What Western child does not have a smart phone these days? And what Western child doesn’t access social media via that phone?
    Those kids may not know how dangerous the internet can be, certainly in terms of the future, but they do know how to find their way around.
    As for the curriculum? -shudder- It would be obsolete before the first text book was printed.

  4. Going forward, I think education should provide two things to all kids: Critical thinking, and how to use Google. 🙂

  5. They should teach students how to tell garbage information from real facts on the internet. Now that would be doing them a service.

  6. If it were me, I would just teach the kids grammar, rhetoric, and logic.

    • Don’t hold your breath.
      Teaching kids to deconstruct partisan propaganda isn’t in the best interests of the politicians.

    • I’d add debate to that, so kids can see logic and rhetoric at work in real time and in person, and participate in it. Unfortunately, Felix J. Torres is right. It will never happen.

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