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What is Digital Literacy?

What does Digital Literacy mean? What kinds of skills are involved?
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“digital capability” “digital competency” “digital literacy”
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These are all popular terms for the same thing: being skilled at using a range of technologies that support living, learning and working in a digital society – now and in the future. Digital skills include… Using a computer Communicating through online apps and other technologies Performing a variety of tasks in digital environments Using the internet or other digital technologies to find, evaluate, or or create information Operating mobile devices of various kinds, such as phones or tablets Being familiar with enough online tools to choose the right one to accomplish a given task Understanding how to comply with the law in terms of copyright and intellectual property rights We will look at each of these and more in this course.

Why is digital literacy important?

“Digital capability”, “digital competency” and “digital literacy” are all popular terms for the same thing: being skilled at using a range of technologies that support living, learning and working in a digital society – now and in the future. Digital skills include:

  • Using a computer
  • Communicating through online apps and other technologies
  • Performing a variety of tasks in digital environments
  • Using the internet and other digital technologies to find, evaluate, use or create information
  • Operating mobile devices of various kinds, such as phones or tablets
  • Being familiar with enough online tools to choose the right one to accomplish a given task
  • Understanding how to comply with the law in terms of copyright and intellectual property rights

Digital Literacy and Work

The internet is not only useful for your studies, but it is increasingly seen as a place for establishing a professional profile and preparing yourself for starting a career.

One of the key sites for creating this professional profile is LinkedIn, which calls itself the world’s largest professional network. Potential employers and recruiters increasingly use LinkedIn to find candidates for vacancies and to find out more about the candidates who apply for these jobs. You might like to think about starting your profile while you are still a student and using it as a place to store relevant experience to start to shape your professional identity ready for when you enter the job market.

You can use the internet professionally in many different ways, including:

  • creating a website that shows you in a professional light
  • following Twitter lists relevant to your chosen subject or career path
  • networking informally with people in the profession you hope to enter
  • joining online special interest groups (SIGs)
  • developing an online portfolio to show your best course work. This is especially useful for artists, media specialists, web designers and others intending to work in visual or creative fields.
  • starting a blog related to your educational and professional interests
“Digital technology is a marvelous invention which keeps changing and developing at lightning speed. It rules the world!” Jen, 2nd-year student.

Discussion points:

What level is your digital literacy: Beginner – Intermediate – Expert? Please give us a brief idea of your experience.

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Digital Skills Awareness for Starting Higher Education

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