How can teachers develop digital literacy in the classroom?

It’s been an adventure for me at Open Networked Learning (ONL231)!

This is my first time writing a public blog and I’m still getting used to writing reflections. This post in itself, is an opportunity for me to develop my own digital literacy as a lifelong learner. Having attended a few online/blended courses the past few months and now ONL, the first-hand experiences embody my knowledge of how students today can learn effectively online.

Topic 1: Online participation & digital literacies

How can teachers develop digital literacy in the classroom?

“Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.” – George Couros

meaning: to identify and acknowledge its existence

Teachers need to recognise that we cannot disconnect teaching from our fast-changing digital world. Students today learn in different ways.

  • It starts with the teachers’ mindset change and openness to try new digital tools based on your pedagogical approaches.
  • Maintain a positive attitude towards the use of technologies, as it rubs-off on the students! Be hands-on.
  • When designing the course, it is important to thoughtfully and deliberately incorporate technology into every part of the instruction.
  • Change your role to be a facilitator, providing a safe and fun space for students to collaborate with digital tools and to express creativity.
  • Explore the types of tools and media that can best present your subject matters’ contents and for assessments. (see examples below in Table 1)
  • Seek assistance from colleagues for support and training where needed. There are resources out there to tap on! This in turn can offer assurance to the students who needs some troubleshooting along the way in your course.

Students should recognise the need to develop their digital skills in this 21st century, just like any language.

  • For successful implementation, share your approach with the students at the start of the course for buy-in. It is critical that they are on board and understand the intentions and benefits.
  • Help your students recognise that these processes equip them to be lifelong learners, especially how to navigate in the online space, whether as a visitor or resident. Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from college or university and online learning is prevalent in the workplace. 

Table 1: Some practical examples for teachers

For Instead of.. Try this..
Checking understanding of contents in a pre-recorded video MCQ quizzes Post or reply on the discussion forum or Teams channel
(Student think critically; create contents instead of consume contents)
Creating a resume for your potential employer Written assignment Produce a short video to introduce yourself and your skills
(Students can choose their own recording and editing software)
Sharing a research topic Essay or PPT presentation Create a podcast and embed in a blog
(Example by A/P Chris McMorran, NUS)
Presenting the solution to a case study Essay or PPT presentation Create a series of cartoons or memes
(Students can choose their own recording and editing software)

As a start, don’t attempt all at the same time! Just choose 1 or 2 components to test it out. Note that these examples should be contextualised in your subjects and disciplines.

With more awareness and openness, you will realise that it’s not such an onerous task after all! Leveraging on the affordances of technology can greatly deepen the students’ learning experience.


Cleveland-Innes, M. and Wilton, D (2018). Guide to Blended Learning, p. 5,

Garcia, A. (2022). Unpacking Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy for Student Learning. SingTeach, Issue 82 Sep 2022. 


Open Educational Practices in the Asian Context


  1. Congratulations on completing your first blog and for this development of your own digital literacy! I am right there with you, enjoying my first steggering steps as a blogger in the ONL-community. I enjoyed reading your bullets and feel that you are envisioning the same goal and means that I use in my classroom. I always make an effort to explain why we are doing things in a specific way in the classroom, for example sharing on the white board, and I agree with you that the same should be done when asking students to use technology and to share online. Why are we doing this and what should we learn by it. I also believe that this course we are taking shows us that we can learn so much from colleagues and that collaborative learning is not only useful but fun and inspiring also!

  2. Verily Tan

    Dear Wanyun, I really enjoyed how you have spent time internalizing the ideas in the context of our institution (NUS). I especially like the examples that illustrate the points you highlighted. For me I picked up digital literacies as an Information Technology Club teacher-in-charge in high school. I saw the affordance of using video to show experimental procedures like titration and Flash animations to illustrate concepts about exothermic and endodermic reactions. The creation process was tough, the end product was not always perfect in achieving the intended learning outcome, but the process taught me valuable skills.
    As an educator, I think digital literacy is an area of growth not just for teaching, but for so many areas of life like productivity. Like a podcast on Teaching in Higher Ed elaborates, improving productivity approaches can improve peace in our lives and make us more present for our students.

  3. Hi Wanyun, your reflections on digital literacy in the classroom are insightful, and I appreciate the practical approach you’ve taken. The quote by George Couros perfectly encapsulates the essence of technology’s transformative potential when harnessed by dedicated educators. Your emphasis on teacher mindset change and the shift in role from traditional lecturer to facilitator resonates deeply with my own experiences. Your ideas about students becoming content creators, rather than merely consumers, are particularly inspiring. It’s an excellent reminder that introducing technology is not just about the tools, but about empowering students to be lifelong learners in the digital age. Thank you for sharing!

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