The world is evolving into a digital world and every industry is experiencing the effect of the evolution. The education industry has also witnessed some changes. Learning has gone from paper and textbook to sharing soft copies of course materials to students. Teachers can now connect with their students through a digital classroom and the students can all perform class tests, submit assignments, and write exams from their houses.
All of these can be done using a desktop, a laptop, and even a smartphone. All that is needed is enough space on the device and a reliable internet connection. This change is a call to action for teachers to upskill if they want to cope in the new world of education. Teachers need to learn how to use the internet, emails, video conferencing platforms, and other tools that can allow them to function well. As a teacher, here are five basic digital skills that you must master to participate in this digital era.
1. Word Processing and Formatting Tools
This is arguably the most basic digital skills that every teacher needs to master. You must know how to create documents for your students. Other than creating the document, you must learn how to arrange the content of the document in a way that your students can easily understand your teaching. You will not only have to share documents with your students, this means that as a teacher, you will also have to create documents to send to your colleagues or your superiors. You need to learn to prepare these files without wasting too much time and work on file sharing, so that you will not encounter any issues later.
Also, you must know the different ways to share these documents. If you want your recipients to be able to edit the documents, you can share the documents as a word file. However, if you do not want the content to be edited, you have to learn how to convert it to PDF so that no one can tamper with the content of the document. You will also have to learn how to check for spelling errors, how to add links to your texts, how to unzip files, how to insert shapes and create tables, and so on.
2. Data Management Tools
As a teacher, you will have a lot of data at your disposal and you need to learn how to manage this data so that it does not get lost somewhere. Students’ evaluations, tests and exam scores, attendance records, etc. are some of the data that you will need to take a record of. You will also need to update these records from time to time so your data management skill must be flawless so you do not make mistakes in your students’ results. If you can master data management tools, you will be able to avoid mistakes that you made when you were doing paperwork, because most of these tools help you do calculations.
3. Presentation Tools
Just as it is when you have your students in the classroom, you prepare lecture notes but you still have to present these notes to these students, so they can understand the materials that you are giving to them. You need to master the use of presentation tools to explain course materials to your students. You will also need these tools to hold meetings with your colleagues and superiors.
4. The Internet
The internet is, without doubt, the biggest source of information at the moment. There are endless materials on the internet that you can use to prepare lecture notes for your students, and the ability to source information on the internet will be of great help to you. One exceptional advantage of the internet is that you can learn how to use any of these tools (including the internet) on the internet.
The email is the digital post office and is the official way of sending messages to and receiving messages from people. You need to master the art of sending emails and this includes sending one mail to multiple recipients at once, tracking your emails, inserting links in your messages, and so on. For instance, if you happen to be friends with a nurse that has yet to enter the NCLEX RN exam, you might want to help them by sharing educational information such as resources by Osmosis. The best way to do so is by email.
There are other skills that you need to learn like how to network with other professionals in your field, how to get updates and news about what is going on in your field, and so on. Learning how to use these tools and mastering them might be a lot but all you need to do is take them one after the other and in no time, you will have mastered them all.