What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy means having the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasingly through digital technologies like internet platforms, social media, and mobile devices.
Digital Literacy differs from regular literacy that is offline.
Digital Literacy may be about a person’s ability to read and write online or using technology such as computers, smartphones, and related gadgets, but it’s also a lot more than that. With the impact of social media, Digital Literacy skills also now include a wide range of skills like communicating through email, uploading content on YouTube, searching for information in the web, filling online forms, participating in virtual events, to sharing things on social media, etc.
Digital competency refers to the requirements that one needs in order to completely gain knowledge in digital literacy. These digital competency areas include:
- General knowledge – knowing the basics of digital devices.
- Use in everyday life – being able to use these devices day-to-day.
- Work and creative expression – being able to use digital skills to work better and also express your creativity.
- Communication and collaboration – using technology to effectively communicate, share and collaborate with other people in the technical environment.
- Processing information – using technology to gather information, research and data.
- Privacy – being able to protect your privacy online effectively.
- Legal and ethical practices – being able to operate and use digital platforms in a socially responsible way, including understanding the laws around using the Internet and other digital devices.
- Balanced attitude – having the right open-minded mindset about technology.
- Awareness – of ICT’s role in society and the impact it has.
- Always learning – familiarising and getting comfortable with new technologies all the time.
- Informed decisions on appropriate digital technologies – being aware of most relevant and common technologies.
- Seamless use – confidently and creatively using technology to increase your effectiveness and efficiency.
Why is Digital Literacy Important?
Digital literacy is a skill that is important for everyday use, job performance, and personal endeavors. Many digital literacy skills used to be considered noteworthy or impressive, and are now seen as necessary or standard skills. If you don’t want to fall behind, you need to be proactive in your learning of digital technologies. Think of learning digital literacy as an opportunity for learning how to make your life easier, rather than something you need to struggle through to keep up with. Click here to see profitable digital skills you can learn today.
- Making connection with friends, family, colleagues, or simply meeting more people is often the reason many people ‘get online’ in the first place.
- Save time and money: Everyone loves saving money, and when you realize how much time you can save on simple daily tasks like shopping, banking, and general errands, you’ll want to get online quick!
- Get a job: The traditional method of showing up at a place of business with your resume in hand is no longer the standard method for getting a job. Like many other things, employment is moving online, and very often, many job applications and resumes are accepted exclusively online.
- Increased safety: When used effectively, becoming digitally literate and understanding good online safety practices can help to increase your safety. There and many ways you can protect your passwords, personal information, appear anonymously, and do more to protect your safety. Click here to read article on Online Safety
- Stay up-to-date: Staying up to date with what’s going on in the world is always important, and when you need real-time updates on almost anything, the Internet is your place to go. Whether it’s sports, traffic, or weather, improving your ability to get this information quickly can change your life.
- Create an online presence: Many people caution against putting yourself out there online, claiming it can ruin your reputation. Though this may be true for those who don’t make smart decisions about how they present themselves, creating an online presence can greatly improve aspects of your life, especially when it comes to your personal and professional goals.
- Learn faster and teach others: The more you start using digital technology, the easier it becomes to learn new things. Many websites and apps operate in very similar ways – especially when it comes to navigating or distributing information. The more you simply dive in and try using more devices, websites, and apps, the easier it will become to keep up with the new trends and things you need to learn.
The above are just a few summarised importance of digital technology skills. Details of this will be available in the post or article that will be shared later.
Examples of Digital Literacy skills
- Using your phone to check emails.
- Using an online search engine to find the answer to a question.
- Using online search to complete a research project
- Creating an online profile on a social media platform
- Participate in a virtual meeting
- Use Office tools such as MS and WPS.
- etc, etc.
General ICT/ Computer Literacy Program
Afritech Academy is offering a General Computer Literacy Training Program to help you improve your knowledge on skills that are needed to live, learn, and work in a society where communication, services and access to information is increasingly through digital technologies.
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