With the rise of technology, there became a new form of literacy, digital literacy. Digital literacy does not simply mean that a person is able to use digital technology. It more deeply means that the individual can interpret the information or data from multiple formats or sources. All the while, being able to properly evaluate the given source and manipulate it for reproductions, such as a presentation.
Digital fluency is slightly different. Being fluent would require an individual to be well experienced in digital technology, to the point that they could break down their actions and describe what they are doing to an individual. This also means that the certain individual can pick up a wide range of technologies and use this with ease and not have as difficult of time adjusting to a rather new tool that would take others a significant amount of time fine-tuning their skills. Even so, the individual that wasn’t fluent, wouldn’t be able to even begin to tell someone what they were doing, and wouldn’t know if they were properly manipulating the set program.
There are eight unique elements that create digital literacy. They include: critical, creative, civic, communicative, constructive, cognitive, cultural, and confidence. Each of these elements are critical for an individual to develop the necessary components of being digitally literate.
I would not consider myself digitally literate. Of the eight key elements, I definitely need to work on them all to be more well-rounded, but I would argue that my two areas that I weakest areas are cognitive and confidence. If I became more diverse and skilled in these areas, the confidence I believe would follow. Along with that, I currently believe that my communication skills are my best attribute in my quest for digital literacy. In this class (Digital Literacy 361), I believe that we will take vast strides in: critical, creative, communicative, and cognitive. That’s not saying we won’t work on the rest, but I foresee more emphasis on these areas. All the while, incorporating the rest in the class.
To become effective leaders and digital learners, individuals absolutely must become well rounded in the eight elements. This would not only make the individual a digitally literate person, but it would allow them to be more effective leaders in helping others becoming digitally literate. As educators, we take on the role of those leaders for our students, and it is our duty and responsibility to not only become digitally literate and fluent ourselves, but light the very same path for our students.
Try this website, it’s a great slideshow that can help better understand digital literacy and its importance: http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/the-essential-elements-of-digital-literacies