Examining Digital Literacy
According to David Warlick, “We live in a time when the very nature of information is changing: in what it looks like, what we use to view it, where and how we find it, what we can do with it, and how we communicate it. If this information is changing, then our sense of what it means to be literate must also change” (http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=263).
What is Digital Literacy?
- Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. (http://connect.ala.org/node/181197).
- Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet. (https://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/)
- Digital literacy has been described as the ability to find, decode, evaluate, and organize information into personal learning networks. (http://www.techlearning.com/news/0002/the-new-literacy/57197)
- Digital literacy is the ability to interpret and design nuanced communication across fluid digital forms. (http://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/literacy/the-definition-of-digital-literacy/)
These definitions seem to be missing something, the human element. While technology provides constantly shifting methods of information sharing and gathering, it is ultimately a tool that provides humanity new ways to connect.
“For me, the ultimate promise of digital technology is that it might enable us to truly see one another once again and all the ways we are interconnected. It might help us create a truly global view that can spark the kind of empathy we need to create a better world for all of humankind. I’m not being overly utopian and naively saying that the Web will make this happen. In fact, if we don’t understand our digital technology and its effects, it can actually make humans and human needs even more invisible than ever before. But the technology also creates a remarkable opportunity for us to make a profound difference in the world” (Wesch, 2007).
For our purposes, digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, organize, communicate, and create information within a framework of human interconnectedness.