Becoming Digitally Literate


Photo CC By Marcle Casas

I have just conducted some of my own research on the topic of digital literacy and digital learning. After researching, I have created my very own definition of the term digital literacy : the ability to be responsible, productive, and creative with online information, tools, and resources. (Please bear in mind that this definition is short because I was asked to post it to Twitter and I only had 140 characters to work with.) An extended version may also include the term digital fluency which may comprise of the ability to be safe, use content in a unique manner, and communicate effectively using digital tools. In my opinion, digital literacy is the ability to access and understand online content while digital fluency is the ability to apply and interpret the content and information.

There are hundreds, probably even thousands, of tools and resources available for students, teachers, and ordinary people to access and use. In order for those resources to be used to their full potential, we need to be digitally literate. Essentially, being digital literate is possessing a number of skills to be able to navigate and use the content in the ever-growing digital world. To read more about digital literacy (I’m going to start abbreviating that now with DL), you can click here.

If you will remember, I am an Early Childhood educator (if you follow me on twitter, I often abbreviate that with EC). That being said, it is of great importance in my field to start teaching my students about DL as soon as possible. Another aspect of DL  is internet safety. Children need to be taught, have opportunities for practical experiences, and have safe practices modeled to them right away. This meets the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)  standards for teachers. Technology’s impact on society and the world of education seems to always be changing and it is my hope that I may help my students achieve goals set for them in terms of technology. If we wait until students are in junior high or high school to have them use online resources, we will be waiting too long. It is vital that I, their EC educator, begin equipping my students so that as they continue through life, they will have the skills to be able to find information and apply content more effectively. To read more about the ISTE standards, click here.

How well are my skills in the category of digital literacy, you ask? I think I could hold my own when it comes to using online databases, communicating using social media, and being responsible. I know the basics of most skills but would like to be able to go deeper and learn useful tips to make my life easier. I expect the more I continue to work with technology, the more tricks I will learn. I am a person who learns technology best through actually doing so I would need to be shown and then be allowed to practice on my own. I think it is important to keep an open mind about new and changing technologies. It is safe to say, technology is not going away so we might as well embrace it and teach our students to better utilize it as the tool it can be.



An EC educator learning DL (:


2 thoughts on “Becoming Digitally Literate

  1. Skyler,
    Thanks! The definitions found in my post are the best I could come up with ha. I certainly would not call myself savvy, however, it could be nice to get there…eventually. I agree with you about Twitter though! I had never used it before this class and really feel as though I am getting the hang of it. I actually find that I am enjoying it! Thanks for reading!

  2. Cara,
    I liked your definition between being digitally literate and digitally fluent. I think you stated in a nice way that made it easy to understand. I admit that I struggled to figure out the exact difference between the two and had to do further research; even then I’m not quite sure that I got it down. But your definition helped to clear it up for me. So thanks for that! I am glad to hear the you feel confident in your skills concerning digital literacy. I like to think that my skills are ok because I can usually get stuff figured out, if I can’t I Google it and that tends to help me out also. But I would like to be more digitally fluent. I agree with you that the more I use and play around with different types of technology and unfamiliar sources, I think I will pick it up and become fluent in using it. I remember that I used to think Facebook was a huge confusing and frustrating source, but now, it’s cake. And I haven’t ever spent much time on it so that makes me feel better about learning how to use new technology sources. I also used to think that Twitter was super difficult to use, but after using it for this class for only one week, I already feel way more confident. I know I still have a lot to learn, but it encouraging to when you can see the progress that you have made and you become more comfortable using these different types of technology.

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