Table of Contents
What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy must be understood as a means and a new form of communication and creation and understanding of information. Digital literacy is the ability of a being to perform changed errands in a digital situation. Its generic definition encompasses many nuances since it would include the ability to locate, investigate, and analyze information using technology and create content and design proposals through digital media.
Digital literacy has several levels that go from the most basic -elementary skills such as knowing how to post on Instagram- passing to an intermediate one -in which we use technology to improve our lives or be more efficient, such as learning to program on Facebook- and one higher level of creation of own digital content.
Benefits and Risks of not Being Digitally Literate
Digital literacy must go beyond learning tools and programs. Its benefits include:
- Critical thinking: if we can access more information and contrast it, we will have more essential citizens and, therefore, more guarantees of a free society.
- Improvements for daily use: new technologies can be integrate into our daily lives -both personally and professionally- improving our quality of life. Contrary to what some people believe. Their usefulness is not limit to leisure and consumption. But instead they can enrich our daily lives in many other aspects.
- Digital Divide: Digital literacy also dramas a vital character in social insertion and growth. Lack of access to technology makes new changes in the educational, social, economic and cultural spheres. This gap occurs globally between countries but also within the same society.
Digital Literacy at School
Digital literacy poses a new way of coaching and learning where the repetition of ideas and the teacher as the protagonist cease to make sense.
Among the advantages of ICTs, it should be note:
- They allow a transversal learning of subjects.
- It encourage autonomous work (as they have to look for information independently).
- They are closer to the reality of children who are digital natives and, therefore, already familiar with the technology.
The introduction of ICTs in the school curriculum should not only translate into the teaching of computer tools and programs but also e-learning (electronic learning), a system that eliminates all geographical blocks. Allows access to limitless information and collaboration with other centers (even if they are hundreds of kilometers away). Beyond knowing how to program or knowing the ins and outs of the Internet, ICTs must also include audiovisual education or media.
Digital Literacy in Adults
Unlike traditional literacy -focused on early ages or adults who in their day did not learn to write and read- digital literacy is also aimed at adults who, although they are literate and educate, do not have minimal knowledge about new technologies. In these cases, we can speak of a “re-literacy” , an update of concepts and skills related to the digital world, to achieve more autonomous citizens.
Adult digital literacy is essential in a changing world that requires continuous training in recycling . In case of unemployment, it will facilitate labor insertion and increase the options of professional advancement for active workers.
Digital Literacy in Companies
ICTs are essential for both large companies and SMEs.
As happens individually, companies can be digitally illiterate if they do not incorporate new technologies into their day and day. To be competitive, it is essential to have a presence on the Internet (regardless of the size of the business).
The use of new technologies in companies is endless, from promoting products through Social Networks. To online sales anywhere in the world or obtaining customer data to launch more personalized campaigns.
Digital literacy must be done continuously due to the constant changes of the digital world. Its importance ranges from individual benefits to global ones since it is essential for social inclusion and development.