Defining Digital Literacy

What is digital literacy? This has been the question everyone that has gone through the first week of Literacy in the Digital Age at Chadron State College has had to answer. For me, this question was extremely hard for me to answer before I completed any research. Before doing any research, I thought digital literacy was any literature found online. I thought it could range from blogs to websites and even Tweets. In today’s society, it practically runs our lives. I did not take into the account that digital literacy also includes things other than words.

After some research, I realized that there are many parts of digital literacy that I would have never thought about including in the definition. The article What is digital literacy? does a great job of explaining many of the concepts that I never would have considered as digital literacy. In this article, the author, Liana Heitin, says, some experts prefer “to speak more specifically about particular skills at the intersection of technology and literacy” instead of referring to digital literacy as a whole because of the breadth of digital literacy. Digital literacy is not just finding and reading an article online. It also includes sharing information, watching videos, and creating text using digital components.

Because digital literacy is very broad, I know there are many things that I struggle with on a daily basis. However, there are also a few things that I succeed at doing on a daily basis. Some of my weaknesses include staying up-to-date on the ever-changing realm of digital components and sharing digital components that influence my life. Some of my strengths include finding quality articles for reference papers and publishing well-written articles when I have to allow others an opportunity to read them.

I believe my weaknesses and strengths were built based on the amount of technology my family used when I was growing up. Before college, I was more comfortable with dial-up computers than regular computers because dial-up was the power to our only computer. I was amazed at the speed of my laptop when I entered college. While other people complained that their computer was slow, I rejoiced that it did not beep at me every time I turned it on!

If any of you are familiar with dial-up, you can guess why I struggle with technology. You will also be able to understand the reasoning behind my weaknesses. As for my strengths, I learned to search the web for good articles because that meant I could get off of the computer faster. This was especially a necessity when someone needed to use the home phone! I was also trained by my mom to use proper English and write fluently.

Because of my background and lack of knowledge on digital literacy, I hope to learn more about the wide realm of digital literacy as a whole. I would also like to improve my knowledge of how to stay current with digital contents and sharing information with others.



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