Digital Literacy is About Asking the Right Questions

Digital Literacy is About Asking the Right Questions

Being digitally literate is not just about knowing how to use programs or being aware of copyright law. It’s also about being able to ask the right questions. This is another reason to have a news section in your Computing lessons, in addition to the 5 reasons to have a Computing news section of your lessons I wrote about previously: having a news section gives pupils the opportunity to practise asking pertinent questions. It doesn’t even matter if the questions cannot be answered immediately: the point of the exercise is to exercise the questioning “muscles” in your brain.

Photo by Kenneth Lu

Take a news item of the last week or so: a toothbrush that can analyse your DNA to check whether you have early onset Alzheimer’s Disease or cancer. Silicon microchips embedded in the toothbrush would read and decode your DNA, and then evaluate the results against known genetic markers for those diseases. The microchips could, in fact, be embedded in anything, including toothpaste.

All very wonderful, but for me it raises a number of questions:

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Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."