To those who are concerned with digital literacy, what is it and why is it paramount to learn about?

In a two-day training program concerning digital literacy with a leading institution in education. The objective of the training aimed to drive teachers to integrate technology in the Moroccan classroom. We talked a lot, debated, argued and felt frustrated about the variable meanings of digital literacy, reasons to implement this knowledge in our teaching practice, and ways to do so.

Once I went back home, my head was bombarded with thousands of questions. I sensed that policymakers have started to recognize the presence of the digital world in real life. I mean, it is true, governments collapsed; people were imprisoned, killed, and labelled as terrorists because of occasional unknowns, somewhere, behind a computer or phone screens called them to go out to the streets, mass and riot against the corrupted governments. They were told so and convinced that that was the right way to create change. Ironically, though it is right to encourage people to peacefully express their disappointment, this is not the right path to take when you live under a tyrant ruling system.

Our students are potential targets for the same influence too. They need to learn how to safely, securely navigate and communicate information online. We must weaponize them with digital knowledge. If not so, in the future, our students will become the weapon themselves that will shoot astray and hit what comes their way. The need to integrate digital literacy into the Moroccan school curriculum is of immediate urgency. Digital literacy is not merely about functional skills that allow us to switch on or off machines, nor the ensembles of clicks to upload photos or videos online. It is about the basic purpose behind doing so. The ethical, social, and academic sides of it matter most. Our digital existence is itself a manoeuvre to find, evaluate, build and communicate information online. It, on first hand, impacts the outside more than the inside.

We as Moroccan theorizers, educators and teachers need to go through a cleansing ritual to cleanse the existing knowledge and thinking about education. This way we can refine our practice as teachers, and therefore redefine our perception of how knowledge is taught. One way to do so is to think about technology as a means of education. It allows access to varied digital environments which are enriched with different types of content.

On a non-stop basis, the digital world is fed with improving knowledge. Students need to take part in this process. They have to shape this world and leave their digital marks on it. For this reason, teachers are to embrace new approaches and embed them in their practice. They have to inspire students to use technology meaningfully, with good intentions and purposes. Whether we like it or not, our students are part of this giant digital entity. It sometimes destructs them from doing their duties, and other times instruct them how to think and behave. The digital world has greater power and influence. We as parents and teachers need to step up and do what is needed to be done. Be part of it, and manipulate it to our advantage. And, for some reason, I can’t think of any noble, meaningful purpose other than education.