Developing Digital Literacies
Digital literacy is “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the internet” (Cornell University, 2009). As outlined in my last blogpost, I think that being digitally savvy and literate is a very important aspect of daily living within today’s modern society and digital economy. Technology is at the forefront of everything we do, whether it is just living our day to day lives, learning as students or even just going to work. The need to develop digital literacy is fast growing, as digitalisation is taking over some of the simplest tasks; from communicating with friends to simply buying a train ticket. People need to understand the new innovative technology in our society by becoming digitally literate.
Coombs and Hinrichsen (2014) discuss 5 resources used in digital literacy. These resources are designed to be interlinked with each other to make up what it means to be digitally literate. One of these resources that I could particularly relate to is analysing. Due to internet being such a diverse and extensive place where any information is available, developing this digital literacy resource allows us to have a better understanding of what we as learners are looking at on the internet. Analysing is the ability to make ‘informed judgements and choices’ within the digital world and being able to identify useful digital materials, whilst deciphering if the text is relevant or not for a specific topic (Coombs and Hinrichsen, 2014). Analysing has 3 key characteristics that allow learners, such as myself, to make these ‘informed judgements’. These consist of: deconstructing, selecting and interrogating (detailed in Figure 1). I think this is one of the most important skills to possess when using technology and is a key aspect to becoming digitally literate. From previous experience, being a student at university means having to conduct research for many assignments throughout each year; therefore having a resource like analysing to use when sifting through the screeds of information out there, is very important to ensure that I get the most credible sources to use in essays etc.
The need to be digitally literate has been recognised by many people throughout the world. It has been noted that many learners continue onto further and higher education, as well as into the working world, without any of the skills or knowledge needed to effectively use digital technology in their education and development. Because of this, companies – such as JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) – are now working with educational facilities to embed core digital skills into their curriculums, with the aim of equipping students for the next stage in their lives (JISC, 2014). This is the next logical step in insuring that future generations, and my own, are able to develop with and most importantly understand how to use, the ever evolving digital technology embedded deep within society. The need for digital literacy for living, learning and working in our current society is as prominent as ever.
– Cornell University. (2009). Digital Literacy Resource. Retrieved from: http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/
– Hinrichsen, J., & Coombs, A. (2014). The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21(0).
– JISC. (2014). Developing Digital Literacies. Retrieved from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/developingdigitalliteracies.aspx