4 Important Digital Skills for the 21st Century Teachers

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The current pandemic and the havoc it wreaked upon our lives have radically transformed the way we teach and learn. Hybrid  (flipped) learning and remote teaching are now becoming the the norm. More than ever before teachers and educators are  becoming increasingly dependent on the power of digital and web technologies to conduct  their daily teaching and to take part in virtual professional development events. 

With this being the case, I engaged in a deep reflection  on the question of what counts as essential digital skills in the (post)pandemic era and came up with the categories below. In broader terms, these are the skills teachers and educators need in order to thrive in a digitally-mediated education. I invite you to check them out and share with us your feedback. 

1- Digital collaborative whiteboarding

The ability to collaboratively brainstorm and con-construct knowledge using a digital whiteboard. Generated knowledge can take the form of sketches, drawings, diagrams, text, etc.One  of my favourite  tools I recommend in this regard is Jamboard. Check out Google Jamboard full review to learn more.

2- Screencasting

The ability to record your screen and create educational screencasts. Tutorials, step-by step guides, explainers, to mention a few, can all be facilitated through the power of digital screencasting. Check out this list of teacher-friendly tools for creating screencasts and training videos.

3- Video conferencing

The ability to hold and moderate video calls and invite participants to join your calls. Sub-skills include the ability to create and manage breakout rooms, the ability to gather participants feedback during a video call using polls and questions, the ability to synchronously engage with participants via text messages, the ability to integrate other media in your video calls,  and many more. Some of the best video conferencing tools include: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

4- Critical digital awareness

By critical digital awareness I refer to one's ability to both operate various digital technologies and  to engage in a critical and reflective way with digital content. Through critical digital awareness you get to develop the necessary skills to question the factuality of propositions, assess the credibility of sources,  identify digital disinformation , and stay safe while navigating the virtual web.