A personal view of Digital Literacy

Posted: October 12, 2013 in Curriculum, Education, Educational Technologies, Innovation

Earlier today I was asked to think of my view of what Digital Literacy means to me. As a result I thought I would just type down some raw thoughts.

Digital literacy is more than just acknowledging the ability to use current software technologies to perform tasks. Digital Literacy is the ability to inherently know and understand how to create, access, use and manipulate digital data regardless of the contextual circumstance. To break this down further, it means that regardless of the subject area, the class or curriculum content or the requirements of the situation a person is able to freely utilise digital techniques to accomplish what is required.

For the teaching of students it means that the students have to be shown how to use skills and techniques taught in one subject area in another. As adults it is easy to assimilate/integrate skills and knowledge, but I have found that for students taught in separate educational locations, singular areas of subject content, it is much harder to automatically associate the use of skills taught in other situation. Students have to be taught in all subject areas to use all skills. This can mean using IT/digital skills in all other subject areas. Eg:

  • English – word processing, data analysis, presentation, cloud storage, online collaboration, video/movie production, audio engineering, researching skills, desktop publishing, etc…
  • Maths – calculations, data representation, presentation, problem solving, computational logic, object design, analysis, charts/graph, plotting, video/movie, cloud computing and storage, etc…
  • Science – Graphic, plotting, recording, cloud storage and collaboration, graphing/charts, video/movie, photography, image editing/enhancement, word processing, spreadsheets, 3D animation, modelling (physical not spreadsheet), Computer assisted design/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), desktop publishing, etc…
  • Music – Audio engineering, word processing, data basing, video, animation, recording/editing, presentation, staging and prop design, midi interface, etc…
  • PD/H/PE (Physical Education) – analysis, presentation, video/movie, research, word processing, measurement, plotting, etc…
  • Etc……

The final piece of digital literacy is that it requires the people/person involved to understand and know how or where the data is stored, used and accessed. This includes data about themselves and others. It includes an awareness of the impact of the creation of digital content and the ramifications of its use, both positive and negative. I acknowledge that this final piece is also an element of Digital Citizenship but I believe that it is vital to digital literacy.


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