How to become digitally literate

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Last week I examined Doug Eyman’s article “Digital Rhetoric” to discern what exactly the term “digital” means. Now, we look to examine what is meant by digital literacy.

What is it?

Digital is everything that we as humans create and use to communicate. This includes writing, both on and off the screen. To become digitally literate, you need to be able to understand the symbol systems of various types of media. Literacy usually makes us think books and writing specifically. The concept of being digitally literate is multimodal: it groups together various modes including audio, images, writing and visuals. Its goal is to bring those modes together to give something meaning. We use images, sounds and words to make meaning in the form of movies for example.

How to become digitally literate?

Technological, computer and electronic literacies can all be seen as aspects of being digitally literate. To label this all under this umbrella term is to contain these literacies within the scope of what is relevant in digital spaces. We need to be literate in more ways than just one in an evolving technological and literate world.

An example of being digitally literate can be associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in which much of the world went remote. Computers and the internet became vital and we needed to apply the technology available to find ways for schools and places of work to communicate and collaborate still. The education field need to be able to create meaningful lessons using a variety of learning styles which are tied to a variety of literacies. Becoming digitally literate means we can adapt to the world when it changes drastically.


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