Digital literacy and why it matters



Digital literacy is a term you may have heard
more and more about over the past few years. But what does it mean and why is it important? We increasingly communicate and access information
through a variety of digital environments. Our workplaces, social lives and educational
settings all require some form of competence in digital literacy. Digital literacy isn’t just about knowing
how to use technology. It’s about navigating and communicating
through different digital environments. You need a certain level of digital literacy
to turn a computer on, for example, but require different skills to locate and complete an
online job application. The extent in which you participate in different
aspects of the digital world is often shaped by your personal need for the information
and opportunities that it provides. Some people rely on social media sites to
keep up to date with their friends and arrange their social calendars, whereas others don’t
engage with it at all. However, there are some areas where having
the appropriate skills are extremely important to succeed in the modern world. 90% of new graduate jobs require high level
Information and Communication Technology, or ‘ICT’ skills. The jobs market is very competitive and changeable
and having the right digital literacy skills is essential to employability. This directly impacts the world of education. Students need to have digital literacy skills
alongside their qualifications, to help them become employable when they graduate. There are also so many new ways to learn. As well as searching through physical texts,
you can now access information and research instantly, via the web. Video, audio and images can be used for teaching
and for student assignments. Assessed work is increasingly submitted electronically
and feedback given online. Communicating and collaborating on content
can be facilitated through a variety of online platforms. With all these new opportunities come new
requirements and responsibilities for everybody. We need to understand how to evaluate and
look at the authenticity and validity of the wealth of information available to us. There are aspects of being safe online, understanding
our online identity and being aware of the etiquette of online communication. Digital literacy skills will get more necessary
as technology develops- particularly as cultures, languages and different modes of communication
overlap and intersect. We all need to be prepared to understand and
embrace this new digital landscape and be confident and competent in guiding our future
generations through it.

5 thoughts on “Digital literacy and why it matters”

  1. Love it. I'm so happy the "video essay" is now gaining popularity. Using technology as a tool and not a distraction!

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