Digital literacy, skills and fluency

I want to start off by explaining what digital literacy is as defined on the Internet. Digital literacy has been defined by Cornell University as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share and create content using information technologies and the internet”. Other sources define digital literacy as a component of media literacy. Which refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, produce and communicate clear information through writing and other forms of communication on various digital platforms”. Digital skills on the other hand is the knowledge of how to use digital tools and technologies effectively. Digital fluency has been defined as ” A digitally fluent person can decide when to use specific digital technologies to achieve their desired outcome. They can articulate why the tools they are using will provide their desired outcome”.

After coming up with those definitions, I am capable of differentiating between digital literacy, skills and fluency very easily. Digital skills would focus on an individual’s ability to use tools such as Twitter for instance. However, digital literacy would focus in depth on when to use Twitter, and whether it is the right tool to use in order to reach the outcome desired. Digital fluency on the other hand is just being fluent while using the technology, being able to adapt the use of a certain tool in different contexts and with the ability to explain why they work in the way they do.

For me, digital literacy is major in the coming years and for this generation. Since everything is becoming digital and even children in schools use their iPads and Laptops to study and learn, then digital literacy is certainly becoming important. Additionally, everything we do and all sources of communication now is through technology, and therefore to get along, we need to be digitally literate.

Finally, I would like to reflect on Maha Bali’s video in which she differentiates between digital literacy and skills. Actually, the first thing I thought about when I read the definitions of digital literacy, skills and fluency was the example Bali gives about the language. I believe I can’ learn a language without practicing it. Which would represent not being able to be digitally literate without being fluent, otherwise I wouldn’t be exercising my knowledge and skills well, and start losing what I’ve learnt. After watching Bali’s video, I realized that digital literacy, skills and fluency actually complete each other and none of them can go without the other. They are completely different things that I believe complement each other.






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