What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy is part of media literacy. They’re both included in the idea of “information literacy,” which is the ability to effectively find, identify, evaluate, and use information. Digital literacy specifically applies to media from the internet, smartphones, video games, and other nontraditional sources. Just as media literacy includes the ability to identify media and its messages and create media responsibly, digital literacy includes both nuts-and-bolts skills and ethical obligations.
From researching a school report to watching the latest music video, kids need to learn how to evaluate the quality, credibility, and validity of media and to give proper credit to the source.
Protecting their and others’ private information online.
With so many ways to share information, kids need to learn internet safety basics, such as creating strong passwords, using privacy settings, and respecting their friends’ privacy.
Giving proper credit when using other people’s work.
In a world where anything can be copied, pasted, and even claimed as one’s own, it’s critical that kids learn to correctly cite sources.
Understanding digital footprints.
What makes digital media so cool — the ability to interact — also creates tiny tracks across the web. Kids need to know that whenever they create a profile, post something, or comment on something, they’re creating a composite profile potentially viewable by others.
Respecting each other’s ideas and opinions.
To be digitally literate, kids must understand that what makes the web an amazing place is that for this vast virtual world to function properly, we must all be good digital citizens.
What is digital literacy?, Common Sense Media, 2020, www.commonsensemedia.org/news-and-media-literacy/what-is-digital-literacy.
“Developing Digital Literacy Skills.” Webwise, Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre, 2020, www.webwise.ie/teachers/digital_literacy/
Data Never Sleeps. 2017, Server Cake.
4 Tips for Learning with Technology, Common Sense Media, 2020.
Digital Literacy – What is digital literacy? 2017. BBC Learning English www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LElWqXi7Ag.
Collins, Cory, and Kate Shuster. “Learning the Landscape of Digital Literacy.” Teaching Tolerance, edited by Adrienne van der Valk and Maureen Costello, Southern Poverty Law Center, 2020, www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/learning-the-landscape-of-digital-literacy.