It’s no secret that a certain level of digital literacy is an essential element in our lives in this generation, by definition digital literacy is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors used in a broad range of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, all of which are seen as a network rather than computing devices (Wikipedia). This definition is extremely important in understanding what it means in our current age to be digitally literate.
This is going to get slightly academic so if you’re here for lighter reading follow this this link for a softer blog post!
When I started to look a little bit deeper into how essential it is to be digitally literate, the research and knowledge I came across suggested that my previous thoughts were way off the mark. I knew that it was important, through a various parts of our lives, academic, social, personal and professional. There is almost no escaping the digitization of this world, technology is everywhere. If this idea is something that interests you I focused on my own personal digital saturation here.
I’m going to concentrate on how this type of literacy is so important in each of these categories. Firstly academic, there is a rapidly developing need for us as students to be able to use computers, laptops and tablets. Assignments are commonly handed in online, material covered in lectures is available online, the fastest way to contact lecturers and find out any updates about lecture times and locations, yep you guessed it, online. In the course I’m studying specifically as well it’s a huge help to be connected through social media specifically twitter where we all share content using the #UCCDH. Brilliance.
Next and equally importantly, having a common standard of digital literacy has become almost essential for us in our social lives. Social media has become one of the main types of communication. To be very honest can’t even remember the last time I posted a letter or postcard! Not only for internet use but having the ability to use your smartcard is a pure necessity. Calling, texting, voicemails all very basic but all require at least a minimal amount of digital knowledge.
By definition it states that behaviour is also considered an essential part of being digitally literate. When doing research on this I found this extremely interesting. How does one judge if someone’s behaviour is acceptable or not when it come to the use of digital tech? it surely depends on individual standards and morals etc. but there it is in definition.
Being digitally literate is going to constantly change and develop as our continuously changing digital world changes. We as a generation compared to those before us, undoubtedly have a higher level of digital knowledge purely because this is what we have been exposed to. We are all creatures of habit after all. Is this ease of use of digital technology hindering our traditional literacy? Are we going to become fully dependent on technology in these areas of our lives? Is this change welcomes? Big questions.