I remember when home computers and then, soon after, internet became “a thing”. I was already nearing adolescence at that time. Although many of my peers have adapted quite nicely to this digital age, I am more of a Wilma Flintstone in Jetson’s world when it comes to digital literacy. I must admit before enrolling in this #diglitclass, I had never written a blog nor had I ever been on Twitter. I don’t believe that I’m close-minded but technology has never been my forte. I have learned quite a bit over the last three or four days and feel confident that I am on the path to becoming an effective digital learner and leader.
In order to become proficient at digital learning, we must have a clear understanding of digital literacy. Being digitally literate means having the skills and ability to utilize online or digital sources such as websites, blogs, and databases to influence learning and creativity. When a person can find information through digital media and can comprehend, analyze, and apply that information appropriately and effectively, they are digitally literate. Naturally, there will be those who will ask why students need to become digitally literate. Information is so much more widely available now than 30 years ago. Digital Literacy is a necessary part of learning because our world is so much more connected than it was in years of the past.
Along with being digitally literate, we must know how to use digital fluency. This means being able to find and understand as well as create and convey information through the use of modern technology in a way that is appropriate and ethical. It is through failing to use digital literacy that phrases such as “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet” have become quite well-known. We must be sure to practice responsibility when using and sharing knowledge obtained through digital sources. We must also be driven by our own internal interests in order to be effective digital learners and leaders. Using our interests to fuel and guide our learning through digital media can help us to be more motivated to do so. We must be culturally aware; understanding the world around us can help us to process the information before us. It is important that we are aware of our own thought processes as we locate and utilize digital information. This helps us to rule out any bias we may have as well as helps us feed our own creativity. Just as being a good citizen in the real world is important, so is being a good citizen online. It is imperative that we use knowledge gained and shared in a manner that will positively affect our society. For more information about the essential elements of digital literacy, you can visit connectedprincipals.com/archives/7773. In addition to this URL, I gained extensive knowledge about digital fluency on Rasmussen University’s website, guides.rasmussen.edu/digitalfluency.
Although I have become rather proficient at conducting online research for the purpose of writing research papers or even for my own personal life, I have much to learn about digital literacy. I would love to learn to be more creative in my use of digital media in order to make a difference in our world. As I expressed earlier, I am now learning to use certain social media such as Twitter and blogs but I expect to be much more knowledgable about platforms such as these by the end of this semester.