What is Digital Literacy and how does it effect Digital Rhetoric?




Emily Contreras

Within my last blog, we explored the true meaning of the word “Digital.” Today I present to you the topic of “digital literacy.” What exactly is this? And How can this improve digital rhetoric? Together we will understand all that and more.


We once again return to the writings of Doug Eyman on “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric.” He moves on to the topic of digital literacy and what exactly that phrase means.

What is digital literacy?

In short, digital literacy is the ability to read, write, find, evaluate, and communicate information using digital platforms. This can be through coding web pages, using videos, audio, image, and animation. With these different forms of communication, the user must gain an understanding of how to properly use them as each form has their own form of function and requirements. Thinking into it a bit more it would make sense to call this digital literacy as for each form of communication there are certain things the user must understand in order to work whatever digital program properly.

Digital literacy Examples

For instance, animation requires the user to understand what type of program they are working on. There are many digital animation programs from amateur to professional. Thus, the user’s digital literacy is important as symbols represent words in the program. Such as a backward arrow representing “undo.” Additionally, exporting an image is different from exporting a video, a user needs to understand things such as file capacity, megabytes, and Kilobytes. How to export in a good quality or high quality. Users also need to learn what is the difference between a PNG, JPEG, PDF, and how can that affect the file itself, and how it can be accessed.

How does it improve Digital Rhetoric?

By understanding the literacy of these programs only then can a user use it to communicate information effectively and clearly.  Just like anything, there is a learning curve that users must undergo when using technological devices, and as such requires readability to properly use. Once that learning curve is triumphed over, digital rhetoric will be improved as users can better communicate their ideas and information. For example, for web building, the user wants their webpage to be professionally built to gain support from the target audience. By having this kind of literacy individuals can best equipped any digital platform to make their ideas effective and persuasive.

If for example, a charity wants to set up a webpage for donations. But they only know the digital skills to make a webpage and not the digital literacy to build it. This can cause the website to lack the fundamental part of communicating its ideas through this digital platform effectively. As a result, they do not get the funds needed as their message was not clear due to poor digital literacy which ultimately affected their digital rhetoric.


3 responses to “What is Digital Literacy and how does it effect Digital Rhetoric?”

  1. […] Last post we looked through Doug Eyman’s work on his discussion of Digital literacy. From there his words were clear when discussing digital literacy and how it relates to digital rhetoric. However, within his section specifically about digital rhetoric, it felt more confusing to understand at the beginning. […]

  2. […] ability to read, write, find, evaluate, and communicate information using digital platforms. In my previous blog post, I explained that this can be done through different digital forums like coding a website, using […]

  3. […]                  I do question this complicated look into attempting to expand the definition of text. It is truly necessary to “expand” the definition of text for the context of digital rhetoric? All these points seemingly could very well just be boiled down to “different ways text affects rhetoric.” Or how you can view text in different rhetorical ways and how it affects the main idea. Each aspect of Robert de Beaugrande and Wolfgang Dressler’s expansive definition feels over-complicated. Text in my opinion should focus on what is considered text, both in the literature and digital space. It does have rhetorical aspects to it but that does not need to be part of its definition. I feel all of these aspects can be put into digital literacy as how well the text communicates its message of persuasion. To understand more of digital literacy look back to my old blog. […]

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