Digital Fluency

Click on the link below and check out my presentation to learn more about digital fluency and why it is important for students and teachers.

Digital fluency

Or you can read the transcript below.

Digital Fluency

What is Digital Fluency?

Howell defines digital fluency as “the ability to use digital technologies in a confident manner” (2012, p. 243). But, is being confident enough?  According to Spencer “digital fluency is a combination of: digital proficiency, digital literacy and social competence” (2015, para. 3). Wenworth sums up digital fluency stating, “it is helpful to think of fluency as showing wisdom and confidence in the application and use of digital technologies” (Wenworth as cited in Spencer, 2015, para. 3).

Benefits of digital fluency

Digital fluency is part of the competencies related to ‘21st Century’ learning, and supports our ability to work collaboratively, solve real-world problems creatively, and pursue our own learning (Spencer, 2015, para. 6).

MacManus (2013) discusses the benefits of digital fluency in the work place and encourages utilising the existing knowledge of trainees, as digital natives, to “use the web and social media in work focused content, taking them from digital literacy to digital fluency”.

Encouraging digital fluency in the classroom

Howell (2012) states that many of the skills involved in digital fluency are self-taught therefore, providing students with opportunities to practice their skills will be essential to building fluency.

White (2013) gives three strategies for building digital fluency. Firstly, flip your classroom. This involves students learning more independently by using video, audio or text, encouraging students to take ownership of their learning. Secondly, create scaffolded challenges. Provide only partial instruction to get students started, then allow students to finish the task independently or in collaboration with peers. This encourages students to become effective problem solvers. Finally, empower student leaders. Allow students to share their knowledge and solutions with the class.


Digital fluency goes beyond devices, apps and programs. Fluency means that students can “quickly, accurately and deliberately communicate, collaborate and create across platforms” (White, 2013).

Digital fluency prepares students for jobs that do not yet exist, provides them with skills to enable them to use technology that hasn’t been invented yet and prepares them to become life-long learners.


Creative light bulb [Image]. Retrieved from

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Oxford University Press. Melbourne. VIC.

Howell, J. (2014, March 25). Living and learning in the digital world mod 02  03 week 6 [Vodcast]. Retrieved from

MacManus, S. (2013). Getting young people fluent in digital. Retrieved from

Spencer, K. (2015). What is digital fluency? Retrieved from

White, G. (2013). Digital fluency: skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Retrieved from /viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning


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