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Digital Literacy

WhatisDigital (Technological) Literacy?

Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and clearly communicate information through typing and other media on various digital platforms. It is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce textimages, audio and designs using technology. The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”] While digital literacy initially focused on digital skills and stand-alone computers, the advent of the internet and use of social media, has resulted in the shift in some of its focus to mobile devices. Similar to other expanding definitions of literacy that recognize cultural and historical ways of making meaning, digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy, but instead builds upon and expands the skills that form the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Digital literacy should be considered to be a part of the path to knowledge. Technological literacy is the ability to use, manage, understand, and assess technology. Technological literacy is closely related to and often interchangeable with, digital literacy.

Why is IT important:

Digital literacy is crucial because it helps us navigate information more quickly and efficiently. As technology advances to replace many traditional cultures and practices, the ability to utilize this for finding, evaluating, sharing and implementing online resources in a fraction of the time, makes almost all tasks more streamlined and productive. Access to locate, decipher and apply information, from the simple to the very complex, makes the user more competitive and valuable. In the modern world, it is more than just important; it is a vital, lifelong skill.

Things you can do TODAY to increase Digital literacy and proficiency:

  • Enroll for a training course or class at your school, local library, community center, or workplace
  • Use social media as a resource for cooperation and educational skills
  • Familiarize yourself with online/digital communication tools, which promote virtual connections and eliminate global distances (e.g., Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Gmail etc.)