What is Digital Literacy?

      3 Comments on What is Digital Literacy?

This is a post I wrote for one of my grad classes in Digital Literacy. I am proud of it, so I thought I’d share it with you!

Digital literacy includes multiple facets. The digital world around us is evolving at every moment, and the ability to be flexible in analyzing the relevancy of the selected media is a skill that I think is most important. Another important facet is the ability to navigate to and use tools to enhance the learning process, such as video, audio, and photo editing. One of my favorite quotes from the first chapter of the book I am reading is, “Digital literacy is a condition, not a threshold.” (Martin, 2006). Just as our digital society is changing, we need to adapt along with it in order to truly harness its power.

As I was presenting a training to a group of teachers, all the participants were following along with me nicely except for one. She was just sitting, watching the user at the computer next to her. As we finished the training, I asked her, “Was I going too quickly for you? I would love to help you one-on-one if you would like help.” Her reply was, “That’s okay, I’m not going to use it anyway.” I tried to suppress my frustration while asking what I could do to be better. She stated simply, “I’m old. I’m not going to use it. When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

Unfortunately, in our world today, not using technology is becoming less and less of an option. Our coffeemakers have special programming. We use 5 remotes to cover all the different things we need to watch a movie on a disc. Landline phones are disappearing, and rotary phones are all but extinct. We carry devices with us that can tell us anything that we need (or don’t need) to know. Weather, news, stocks, dog whistles, pick up lines. How soon will we even think of these things as relics?

Digital literacies are important to our world because the world is ever changing. We, as teachers, are preparing students not only for what is now, but what is next. We do them a disservice if we don’t teach them how to use the tools, and to keep on learning to adapt to what comes next.

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3 thoughts on “What is Digital Literacy?

  1. Jon

    Well said! It’s important that we use the resources given to us — and today that includes digital resources. Use the tools you’ve got, right?

    Now, I know you aim this at teachers. Any chance you could rewrite this aimed at church councils? 🙂

    1. Rachel Pierson

      What kinds of tools are you looking to use for your church? Facebook Page? Video streaming? I do remember reading about your conference call church services (which I thought was really cool!). Have you talked about where you would like to go with things? I would be happy to help if you could give me a little more specifics. 🙂 Oh, and if you haven’t listened to the WELSTech Podcast, check them out! http://welstech.wels.net/

      1. Jon

        For me it’s more of a frustration with the council basically saying, “You do what you want; we’re not interested in finding out more for ourselves.”

        An example: I am the only person who participates in the council with a Facebook page, though a number within the congregation (and certainly not just younger folk) do participate on Facebook. I run the church’s Facebook page, using it to announce upcoming events, preview sermons, and review sermons. Several people on the council are excited we have 170-some friends, and think that whenever we do something on Facebook, the friends get an email saying what we’re doing, and that every friend will pay equal attention to it. I’ve tried to explain and have demonstrated what Facebook looks like, along with how to use it. Usually, there’s little to no interest in finding out — just suggestions that “well, if you tell them on Facebook, obviously they’ll come to event X.”

        So, yeah… frustration. Trying to “fix” the attitude of “technology is good, but we’re not interested.” It’s not good if the leaders of the church as a whole aren’t interested in growing and learning.


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