What is a Digital World?

The world has undergone many changes in the last few decades. The ways in which we understand learning and teaching have shifted with the emergence of technologies we are able to use to assist in both areas. It has created a digital pedagogy – defined in Teaching with ICT as “the study of how to teach using digital technologies” (Howell, 2012). Research shows that we learn differently and engage with different types of knowledge creation when we use technology – long gone are the days where a teacher would stand before a class and pump out facts and figures for students to organize and retain in their memories. Now, teaching and learning is interactive and constructive to ensure connections between information is made and understood; current generations are essentially being born into a world where technology connects us with this information, being defined as digital natives, and so it makes sense that it would be used to facilitate their education.

Technology has also changed how we view our teachers. Learning has become more independent and student led. Teachers are not just a walking encyclopedias, but rather a guide for seeking out knowledge. To be a successful guide, a teacher must know how to use technologies efficiently and understand the learning theories behind the practice and know how to select the best technology for the correct learning outcome. Much of this has to do with attitude towards technology – if a teacher decides to ignore its value, or uses something that won’t assist students in learning, then they are not effectively teaching and may in fact be left behind by students who do understand its value and move with it rather than against it. This highly reflects the Information & Communication Technology Competence section of the ACARA General Capabilities Report which discusses the importance of the use of ICT in classrooms as well as an expectation for teachers to integrate it into their learning (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2011, p. 25)

A discussion by Ken Robinson related to the ways education is changing and how teachers need to become a part of it. Watch from 4:58.


It is expected by the students who seamlessly transition between their real life and their digital life. It is expected by the parents of those students who recognize the value of technology and understand how their children connect with the world. It is expected of employers, generating new jobs with new skill requirements who require new recruits to be able to use certain technologies and have an understanding of the digital world. When schools teach with technology, in whatever form it takes, they not simply teaching a student how to use a piece of equipment, but teaching them how to discover knowledge, and how to access the world and the people that are in it; we are preparing them for the future.

In an arts setting, it is required for students to have ICT competence and use this in “learning a concept, completing an activity or responding to a need; they will also communicate ideas and information to others while considering purpose, audience and technology and applying appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices” (Australian Curriculum Assessments and Reporting Authority, 2011, p. 23) – and for this reason, a teacher must understand and use technology for learning practices.

So what is a digital world? It is a world of connections and opportunities and learning.




Australian Curriculum, Assesments and Reporting Authority. (2011). Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/_resources/Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum_The_Arts_-_Compressed.pdf
(Australian Curriculum Assesments and Reporting Authority, 2011, p. 23)

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2011). General Capabilities Consultation Report. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/_resources/General_Capabilities_-_Consultation_Report_-_December__2011.pdf
(Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2011, p. 25)

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. Melbourne, Australia: OUP Australia and New Zealand.
(Howell, 2012)

Robinson, K. (2010, May 24). Bring on the learning revolution! Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution#t-288631
(Robinson, 2010)



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