Changes in Digital Learning

Posted: February 3, 2023

Digital literacy is key for success

Technological progress happens every day.

From faster gigabit speeds to advances in autonomous vehicle technology and beyond, the world will look vastly different in the next decade. Wondering what the future might look like? Just consider how enormously smartphones have impacted our everyday lives.

Few could have predicted how life-altering smartphone technology would be. Today’s iPhone has more than 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that landed a man on the moon. That little device that fits in your pocket has the power to use voice dictation technology, make video calls, take photos, navigate with GPS, and so much more.

Technology has changed just about everything — including how we learn. A discussion between elementary school educators 30 years ago may have focused on the value of teaching cursive handwriting, but soon, typing may be a skill of the past. In the recent “Lead Tennessee Radio” podcast, Taylre Beaty, broadband program director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, discussed how touchscreens have replaced some of the ways many young people learn to type.

“Even as so much technology is created and launched each day, with digital literacy sometimes we can’t overlook the basics,” TNBA Executive Director Carrie Huckeby says. “Before you can learn to run, you have to learn to walk.”

While 10 Gbps speeds may become common in the next decade, there are ample opportunities today for providers to boost the digital literacy of their current and potential customers. Knowing how to protect personal information online, evaluating the credibility of information sources and understanding the differences between cloud or hard drive storage are just a few examples of critical digital literacy skills that are necessary now and will continue to be vital for years to come.

“From online banking to video calls and more, greater digital literacy can improve the lifestyle for all Tennesseans,” Huckeby says.