Friday, 2 September 2016

The Nature and Scope of Digital Literacy

Tackling the digital divide, and ensuring equality of digital participation opportunities for all people, requires not only access to technology but also the digital literacy skills and knowledge which will allow people to read, write, create and communicate using such technology.

What is Digital Literacy?
    ★The ability to use digital technology, communication or            networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.

The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via technology.
A person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment.
Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.
Digital Literacy = Digital Tool knowledge + Critical Thinking + Social engagement   - Josie Fraser
A definition as offered by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee): Digital Literacy = "Those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society." 
“The scope of digital literacy is all encompassing. It is very difficult to think of an element of our lives that is not affected by digital technology.” - Gary West
Just to name a few:
● Personal and Professional Relationships
● Financial Well-being
● Leisure Activities, Entertainment
● Our Daily Routine
● Education
● Employment
● Communication
● Transportation
● Safety
“It makes more sense to talk about digital literacies (plural) as what is being described is a
whole set of skills and abilities needed for someone to flourish in today’s technology rich
environment.” - London Metropolitan University

The 6 Strands of Digital Literacy: 
Essential Skills Digital Literacy - Wales
“As attention is increasingly given to children and young people’s interaction with digital cultures, it is easy to assume that young people are ‘digitally native.’ It is often alleged that having grown up with technology, young people have a wealth of digital technology skills that far surpass those of their ‘digital immigrant’ parents and teachers.

Many young people are confident in using a wide range of technologies and often turn to the internet for finding information. They appear to be able to learn to operate unfamiliar hardware or software very quickly and may take on the role of teaching adults how to use computers and the internet.

This is not evenly spread amongst all young people, however, but is instead affected by issues of class, race, gender and nationality. Researchers point to a ‘participation gap’ which signals unequal access to the opportunities, skills and experiences that will prepare students for life in the 21st century.” 
The Role of Digital Literacy with Adults and Young People
“...not only being digitally literate and able to use what is at our disposal, but moving beyond that to the realms of programming, then now really is the time for this generation to be getting up skilled. The so called ‘digital divide’ may well become the ‘digital cliff’ for some to fall off if education does not play its part in developing the digital literacy skills of citizens of the future.” Alan Scott, 2015 

       The gap will get wider if you let it. 
       Try and keep up.
      What has changed in your lifetime? 
      What assumptions about
      the world did you grow up with which you might 
want to revisit and rethink?
I predict as you start to think about it you will find that it is more than you originally guessed; 
it is still happening and the speed at which change is occurring is phenomenal.

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