Digital technologies spread rapidly, and it even seems that modern youth has inborn digital literacy skills. Sometimes it’s believed that the notion of ‘digital literacy’ can be applied only to middle-aged and older people, but it’s the wrong opinion. Nowadays, we use informational and digital technologies at home, at work, and in all other spheres of our life; therefore, the current society is often described as digital. And people who want to live full lives in this world should have an understanding of digital literacy and at least basic skills.
Earlier, people thought that any person needs to read, write correctly, and be able to express themselves. Those who don’t plan to keep pace with the whole world may be grateful for small favors. Fortunately, the percentage of such people in society is low enough. The majority of people, and especially young people have a thirst for knowledge and are always ready to learn something new. Obtaining digital literacy skills should be a primary goal for them. Let’s address this question in detail to learn why.
The elements of digital literacy
Being able to turn on a laptop or browse social media isn’t digital literacy. It’s a complicated and comprehensive notion. Before we start discussing the importance of it, we have to introduce the key components of it. Not all schools and colleges include this subject in the curriculum, so not all students even know what it is. Here are the key constituents of digital literacy.
- Functional — presupposes a person being able to use basic functions of devices.
- Safety — the ability to ensure own security while interacting with digital technologies.
- Collaboration — working with other individuals towards a common goal.
- Creativity — using digital tools to produce creative works and use your ideas for them.
- Investigation — the ability to search and select the relevant information across many sources.
- Communication — interaction with other people through various platforms, sharing information, etc.
Most students nowadays have only some basic skills. We understand that they are overworked and burdened with other duties, but having digital literacy is crucial. Some people may say that it’s enough to know the website has free essays about air force and military force. Students don’t need to have digital literacy to order college papers about society; it embraces more than they can imagine. Let’s find out why it is important for students.
Students are out of danger
We all are aware of the fact that the Internet is full of dangers, such as frauds, phishing sites, and malware. But those who devote time to studying digital literacy realize the seriousness of the danger and start treating their safety in a different way. How much time do you spend on creating a password for each site you use? Do you think there’s any information you can’t post on the Internet, or you’re a social media person? People with digital literacy skills use password generators to have a different password for each website and are very cautious about posting photos and other content on social media. Also, they are very careful when downloading something from the Internet.
They learn better
Have you heard that digital literacy promotes learning? The educational sphere also becomes digitized, and students start to use various digital learning tools. Old-fashioned teaching methods are boring. No wonder that some school and college students lose interest in education. Digital literacy makes them fall in love with learning again. First of all, students can learn everywhere — all they need is a laptop or a smartphone. Then, educational software lets us learn the most difficult concepts in a playful way. Students communicate with friends and collaborate to achieve the goal. Moreover, students can contact teachers at any moment and get help.
They can learn alone
Remember about the investigation component. The Internet is full of true and fake information, and only people with digital literacy skills know how to find the information they need. Students who obtain this literacy now will be able to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of information. Not all students can understand a topic in the classroom, and not all of them also have time to find the teacher and ask for additional consultation. The curriculum presupposes devoting 1-2 classes to a certain theme, and nothing can be done with it. Digital literacy helps students learn without the teacher: they explore free sources and find the information they need there.
They use only relevant content
Critical thinking is a useful skill, and it’s also one of the components of digital literacy. It’s hard to tell that modern people are attentive and check the content they consume. It’s enough to look at the speed at which the rumors spread on the Internet. And those people who spread them are hardly acquainted with digital literacy. Quite the opposite, those who have got acquainted with it know that they don’t need to spend their valuable time on this or that content. In other words, they are thoughtful consumers. It means limiting the amount of information they get, checking the credibility of sources, and critically evaluating the content quality.
They can contribute to the society
Digitally literate students know how to use their ideas for the common good. Each of us knows something others don’t or can do something other people can’t do. Why don’t you share this knowledge with other people? Reasons are various, but the majority of them are linked to the lack of digital literacy skills. Some people may argue and say that they don’t need to have digital literacy to share content on the Internet. But when discussing complex topics with others, explaining complicated concepts, and formalizing ideas to make them interesting for the digital community, digital literacy skills become irreplaceable.
Please note that digital literacy is a key to a successful future. If you know how to use this or that software, you may enter the IT sphere and find a well-paid job. Moreover, the majority of employers prefer candidates with strong computer and digital literacy skills. It should be a good reason to obtain them.
Also Read: Why You Should Try Doing A Digital Detox?