Published on June 08, 2023
“Literacy” generally refers to the ability to write and read, but when you fix the word “digital” before it, it encompasses much more. Of course, reading and writing are still the heart of digital literacy.
So considering the new ways we now use technology to communicate and receive information, digital literacy encompasses many skills, from reading on kindle to sharing YouTube videos, gauging a website’s validity, and uploading funny videos to being able to buy, sell and undertake financial activities to name but a few.
Digital literacy is using communication and information technologies to create, communicate, source content, and evaluate information that requires non-technical and cognitive skills.
Digital literacy is a skill set used to navigate the modern technology paradigm in which any society operates. If anyone wants to be an effective learner in an efficient online environment, it’s incredibly beneficial to be digitally literate.
Know that digital literacy differs from regular offline literacy, which entails writing, syntax, reading, and grammar. There are various digital literacy competencies, some of which are;
1) Privacy: the ability to effectively protect your privacy online.
2) General Knowledge: learning the overall basics of digital devices.
3) Work and Creative Expression: the use of digital skills to express your creativity and work better.
4) For Everyday Use: to be able to use devices daily.
5) Processing Information: using technology to amass data, information, and research.
6) Collaboration And Communication: using technology to effectively share, collaborate, and communicate with people in the technological world.
7) Awareness: it involves the ICT role in society and its significant impact.
8) Ethical and Legal Practices: the ability to use digital platforms in a socially responsible way that includes understanding set laws around using the internet and various digital devices.
9) Seamless Use: being able to creatively and confidently use technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
10) Always Learning: it involves familiarizing and getting comfortable with uprising technology at all times.
11) Information and Appropriate Digital Technologies: awareness of standard and relevant technologies.
Importance Of Digital Literacy
1) Make Connections: with digital literacy, you can make connections with family, friends, and colleagues. All of these are the primary reason why many people get online. You can begin by setting up an email account, and social media accounts on various social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook and signing up for video calling services like Skype.
These communication channels allow you to reconnect with people you haven’t seen or spoken to in a long while.
2) Get a Job: the traditional method of showing up at an organization with your résumé in your hand or a file is no longer an accepted method of getting a job. Just like other things, employment has also moved online.
Many organizations now accept résumés online; some allow you to submit them through emails, while some set up their applications form online.
For example, with LinkedIn, you can set up an online professional profile.
3) Learn Faster and Teach Others: the more people start using technology, the faster it becomes for them to learn new things; the more you dive in and try to use more websites, apps, and devices, the easier it becomes to keep up with the latest trends.
Teaching people how to use technology and devices is a great way to improve learning. When you try to explain the way something works, you try to gain a deeper understanding to explain it better.
With digital literacy, you can go from being the one asking for help to the one everybody calls for help and assistance.
4) Get Information: the ability to be capable of keeping up with the latest news happening around the world or gaining access to resources from far away libraries – this is also one of the perks of digital literacy.
Like never before, all kinds of information can now be transmitted across the globe in milliseconds; businesses can now partner with each other to provide everyone with better services.
How is Government Investing in Digital Literacy Programs to Ensure Citizens Have the Skills they Need to Thrive in a Digital World
Governments have developed learning and development programs to become part of citizens’ investment strategy. It is designed to help citizens gain insight into their long-term goals while anticipating skills to guarantee success in the coming years.
Emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to connect with various people across the globe are all part of the government’s plans to enable all citizens to thrive in a digital world.
Governments ensure citizens have the skills to co-design, collaborate, and help build relationships in our fast-changing world. Governments now put into motion an array of options that will aid in developing the digital skills and talents the citizens need to thrive.
Digital literacy has so many benefits that will improve everyone’s life. To be a digital citizen, you need to learn how to integrate new technology into your day-to-day living. With digital literacy, you can put your business online and tell the world what you do for a living.
About the Author
Mohammad J Sear is focused on bringing purpose to digital in government.
He has obtained his leadership training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK.
After a successful 12+ years career in the UK government during the premiership of three Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, Mohammad moved to the private sector and has now for 20+ years been advising government organizations in the UK, Middle East, Australasia and South Asia on strategic challenges and digital transformation.
He is currently working for Ernst & Young (EY) and leading the Digital Government practice efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and is also a Digital Government and Innovation lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, France.
As a thought-leader some of the articles he has authored include: “Digital is great but exclusion isn’t – make data work for driving better digital inclusion” published in Harvard Business Review, “Holistic Digital Government” published in the MIT Technology Review, “Want To Make Citizens Happy – Put Experience First” published in Forbes Middle East.
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