Digital skills are what every child should possess in this age. Children are very smart and open in learning new skills. The social and economic impact of technology is widespread and accelerating. The speed and volume of information have increased exponentially.
Internet is gradually merging the physical and digital world and our kids are at the centre of this dynamic change. It’s predicted that, 90% of the entire population will be connected to the internet within 10 years.
Our digital kids are using digital technologies and media at increasingly younger ages and for longer periods of time. Averagely they spend seven hours a day in front of screens. From televisions and computers, to mobile phones and various digital devices. These kids consume digital content which greatly influences their overall development.
Our digital world creates a spectrum of opportunities in learning and entertainment. But nonetheless,kids are now exposed to many risks such as cyber-bullying, technology addiction and data theft. The problem lies in the fast and ever evolving nature of the digital world. Where, proper internet governance and policies for child protection are slow to catch up rendering them ineffective.
As parents, educators and leaders, we can prepare our children for the digital age by equipping them with digital intelligence. Digital intelligence is the set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities. Which enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life. These digital skills can broadly be broken down into eight interconnected areas:
- Digital identity: The ability to create and manage ones online identity and reputation. This includes an awareness of ones online persona, and management of the short-term and long-term impact of online presence.
- Digital use: The ability to use digital devices and media, including the mastery of control in order to achieve a healthy balance between life online and offline.
- Digital safety: The ability to manage risks online like cyberbullying, grooming, radicalization as well as problematic content and to avoid and limit these risks.
- Digital security: The ability to detect cyber threats to understand best practices and to use suitable security tools for data protection.
- Digital emotional intelligence: The ability to be empathetic and build good relationships with others online.
- Digital communication: The ability to communicate and collaborate with others using digital technologies and media.
- Digital literacy: The ability to find evaluate utilize, share and create content as well as competency in computational thinking.
- Digital rights: The ability to understand and uphold personal and legal rights, including the rights to privacy, intellectual property, freedom of speech and protection from hate speech.
Parents should enable their kids acquire these digital skills which should be rooted in their desirable human values such as respect, empathy and prudence. Cultivating digital intelligence grounded in human values is essential for our kids to become masters of technology instead of being mastered by it.