Equipping Our Students with Digital Literacy

Our everyday lives are imbued with the digital technology. Digital technology revolution would continue to speed up as more people go online and the devices become smarter. “Never before has there been a more powerful influence on human behavior, irrespective of country or culture, than the combined effect of digital technologies” (Eyre, 2017). From flexible and mobile devices, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) to learning management platform, for example, Moodle, technology is now firmly part of the school environment, and widely used in the vocational and professional education and training (VPET) sector to support learning and teaching. When we say that we are preparing our students for higher education and workplace in this fast changing world, how do we equip them with digital literacy (which is required in learning and workplace) in the digital society?

What is Digital Literacy 

Digital literacy is the ability to use a range of digital technology critically and efficiently. Digitally literate people are those who can use technology to manage and locate information, communicate and solve problems. What we meant by developing students' digital literacy is not about teaching them how to use the electronic devices or a specific programme; it is about critical thinking, collaboration and social engagement when dealing with digital technology. The coming sections discuss the aspects that teachers could help build up digital literacy for our students.

Promote Information, Data and Media Literacies  

As we are living in the world with abundant information that is digitally available, it is important to equip students with a range of abilities to navigate and manage the information and materials. While the massive amount of information is available at our fingertips, what is more important is to be able to find, manage and disseminate information with different media for different purposes. Being a teaching professional, it is our responsibility to teach our students to evaluate the online resources. This can be achieved by applying the “3C” of critical consuming. The first C is credibility. Find out if the site has reputation or journalistically integrity, if the author cites credible sources, if it is an advertisement, propaganda or a real story. The second C is construction. Analyse the construction of the article. Are there any bias or loaded words in the content they read? Can the students distinguish between facts and opinions? The last C is compare. Compare the article with different sources to negotiate multiple perspectives and obtain a bigger picture of the story.

Enable Communication and Collaboration 

While digital learning environment offers flexibility and opportunity for collaboration and connectivity to global online resources, teachers could help students use a wide range of digital technology to communicate and collaborate with others in an ethical, appropriate manner. Teachers could choose appropriate EdTech tools, such as Mentimeter, for collaborative learning and make the learning and teaching more flexible by blended learning approach.

Unleash Creativity and Innovative  

Digital technology allows us to present our ideas and thoughts beyond words. We like taking pictures and recording videos to tell a story, to convey a message and to express the feeling. Today's students are active in social media and labelled as tech savvy, why don't we unleash their creativity through digital technology and media? We could encourage them to give presentations, do assignment tasks and researches with the support of digital technology.

Ensure Digital Safety  

Despite the fact that the younger generations are regarded as digital natives, they can be very naive when it comes to online safety. Common online safety issues include cyberbullying, accessing or sharing inappropriate content, and disclosing personal information. A survey conducted by Anti-Pornographic & Violence Media Campaign in 2018 revealed that more than half of the respondents (out of 1,900 Hong Kong secondary school students) made social engagement through social media, while about 16% of the respondents claimed that they had been cyberbullied while using media apps. Therefore, seminars or lessons on topics such as online responsibility, online safety, online bullying, etc. could be provided to students. Meanwhile, more training on how to handle cyberbullying cases, giving support and counseling to those affected could be provided to teachers. It could be very dangerous if students spend too much energy, time and emotion on what is going on the social media, because there could be misinformation, manipulation and propaganda in the social media and the digital world. Accomplishing digital safety and protecting our students from the threats require close partnership among all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem which include caring parents, capable teachers, ethical business practices and support, and national online protection policy. Let's work together to help and protect our new generations.

The above four aspects describe how teachers help students think critically, work and communicate with others, think creatively when they learn with digital technology and being safely online. Digital literacy is not about mastering a technology, but about embedding technology skills into learning and teaching to enhance the learning experience and quality. Like what Bill Gates says, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.”     


Eyre, M. (2017, Feb 14). Leading in a digital world. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2017/02/14/leading-in-a-digital-world/#17e4a1ed5fa9 

Zhang, K. (2018, Dec 17). Cyberbullying and child porn: new survey claims Hong Kong students are being targeted on social media as concern group urges government to act. South China Moring Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2178229/cyberbullying-and-child-porn-new-survey-claims-hong-kong 







作為教師,我們有責任教導我們的學生評估網上資源。這可以通過應用 「3C精明使用」來實現。第一個C是可信度 (Credibility)。查明該網站是否具有聲譽或新聞誠信。作者引用的資訊來源是否可信?是廣告?宣傳或真實故事?第二個C是建構(Construction)。分析文章的建構。文章內容是否有任何偏見或既定觀點?學生能區分事實和意見嗎?最後一個C是比較(Compare)。比較不同來源的文章,從多角度分析並更全面地了解事情的實況。 









Eyre, M. (2017, Feb 14). Leading in a digital world. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2017/02/14/leading-in-a-digital-world/#17e4a1ed5fa9 

Zhang, K. (2018, Dec 17). Cyberbullying and child porn: new survey claims Hong Kong students are being targeted on social media as concern group urges government to act. South China Moring Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2178229/cyberbullying-and-child-porn-new-survey-claims-hong-kong