Digital Literacy in Education

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Pat Ugwu II

As technology continues to advance and grow in many areas of human endeavor. Digital literacy is one of the most in-demand skills today, but understanding how to teach it is another. This is where digital literacy in education comes in, and it will provide you with a basic understanding of the trending artificial intelligence in education.

In this post, I am going to give you detailed information about digital literacy in education, perfect examples, and what you should know and possibly teach others.

Okay, let’s dive in by first learning what digital literacy actually is.

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy refers to one’s capacity to explore the virtual world through reading, writing, technological skills, and critical thinking. It is the ability to find, evaluate, and communicate information using technological devices such as a laptop, smartphone, e-readers, etc.

This is a fundamental technological skill required by every student irrespective of the type of career they will like to undertake in the future. I recommend this Akanne Academy free Introduction to Computer course for a start.

Digital Literacy in Education

Since digital literacy and citizenship are becoming increasingly important across the globe, several countries have adopted digital literacy skill benchmarks and courses to help their students.

There is about six basic digital literacy in education.

  • Information and Media Literacy
  • Digital Communication Skills
  • Online Safety and Protection
  • Ethical Usage of Digital Resources
  • Internet Problem Solving
  • Content Creation Strategies

Examples of Digital Literacy in Education

Now is about time for us to critically look at the examples of digital literacy in education in detail.

Basic Digital Literacy

This defined a must digital literacy skill everyone should have today. Anyone who does not have the skills listed in this section should be referred to as a digital illiterate and should immediately go for training.

1. Computer Awareness

The first step to attaining digital literacy skills is understanding the basics of computer hardware and software, and how computer processes and present information to users.

Typing skills and knowledge of how to use an operating system are very important parts of digital literacy.

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2. Digital Communication

Another great skill one should have is digital communication skill. Students should be taught how to create and send emails. Not just with the popular Gmail, but with other email servicing companies.

They should also have the capabilities to use video conferencing tools such as Zoom. This has the potential to improve their communication ability with others.

3. Social Media Platforms

The advent of the internet turns the world into a global village. Social media helps you to be up-to-date with your colleagues, families, and friends.

They are also great for getting the latest political news or other news that interest you. Billions of people visit social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc on a monthly basis.

The below video shows the top popular social media.

4. Internet Navigation Skill

The ability to surf the internet and find useful information is among the key digital skills everyone should have today. So students should be taught the proper way to search for information on Google Search.

It is also important to note here that internet search does not start and end with Google. There are other platforms too. This simply means that if you are looking for video, you should search on a video platform like YouTube, if you are looking for goods, you search on a shopping platform like Amazon.

5. Use of Digital Devices

Learners should also understand how to operate technological devices such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones and integrate them into their daily routine.

They should be also exposed to other devices like computer printers, projectors, smart whiteboards, and so on.

6. Internet Data Privacy

In the digital space, a lot of websites asked users for their email addresses. Some websites even collect personal information without taking permission from the user.

Data privacy skill is the ability to know the kind of data you should submit online and what you should not expose to strangers. This information may be used to scam or spam the user.

7. Fake and Fact-Checking

With the help of digital tools, one can easily create or manipulate false information and share them online. Students should be taught how to detect fake news and how to check if online content is fact or opinion.

Tools like Google Lens mobile app can help you to investigate the first time such content was uploaded online. This will help you to know if the content was repurposed maliciously.

Digital Literacy in School

While the teachers take the control of things in school, students should also be digitally aware so as to understand what the teachers are teaching. This section will describe all the digital literacy skills students should have to function well in school.

8. Online Safety and Protection

One of the basic things teachers should teach their students is how to stay safe online. There are many internet predators who look for prey to steal their vital information like credit card numbers, user account detail, and so on.

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Students should also be taught how to be smart while online and also know when they are leaving an official website for a fake one.

9. The Use of Personal Devices

Instead of trying to prevent students from using digital devices or preventing them from bringing them into the classroom. Teachers should guide them on how to make good use of these devices.

Early use of digital devices will be of great importance to students in their chosen careers.

10. Note-Taking and Organisation

Another good digital literacy skill is the ability to take lecture notes digitally. Software tools like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are useful for this. Audio recording apps can also be of good help.

Teachers should also teach students how to organize these files to help them retrieve them with ease whenever they are needed.

11. Accessing Online Courses

One of the advantages of the internet in education is its ability to learn online. Students should be taught how to access and select useful online courses. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Akanne are great choices.

While most of the good online courses are premium (paid for), there are also good free online courses that you can begin with.

12. Online Teaching Skills

Apart from teachers, students should also be taught how to teach online. I have written numerous educational technology solutions on this blog that can be of help to you. We previously crafted online teaching tips that will help.

This will help to spread the technological knowledge of students.

Digital Literacy at Work

Graduating with a good certificate is not just enough. Staff should possess these below digital skills to perform better irrespective of what they studied in school.

13. Use of Office Applications

When it comes to working place, basic office application skills should be compulsory for all the staff. Microsoft Word for word processing, Microsft Excel for spreadsheet, and Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation are required skills.

Alternatively, you can use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides for the three aforementioned jobs. But they require an internet connection before you can access and use them.

14. Storage and Protection of Data

Computer users should have good knowledge that will help them to secure the organization’s data. Whether they are working on files or database management systems. They should learn to choose the appropriate medium to store data.

Regular backup of data in another device or using cloud storage will also prevent unforeseen eventualities. We dedicated a post on cloud computing in education.

15. Choosing an Appropriate Platform

Businesses should understand the time and trend they are in, and thus choose the right medium to communicate to their customers. This may be a case of using the company’s website or the use of social media.

The ability to know the kind of content to present to customers based on the nature of the business is a great digital literacy skill. We shall talk about content creation below.

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16. Collaborationg Amongst Team

During COVID-19 global lockdown, many people were working from home. This trend has continued even after the pandemic. Colleagues should possess digital skills that will enable them to collaborate amongst themselves and share ideas together.

Tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Team Viewer are all great for this.

17. Online Professional Profile

As soon as you are good with these above-mentioned skills, the next thing you should do is to set up an online profile on LinkedIn or a similar platform. Let your prospective employer know what you can do.

If you are a lecturer, you can consider using ResearchGate and list all your publications there. There are other great platforms for different fields of work that serve this same purpose.

18. Digital Problem Solving Skills

There are other numerous basic things you should know such as: filling out forms online, answering internet questionnaires, online shopping, online banking, online booking, etc.

Digital Literacy in Content Creation

19. Blogging as Business or Passion

If you have got something to say or teach others, you can start a blog as a passion and grow it into business. There are free blogging platforms you can start with. But as soon as you are stable and writing frequently, you should migrate to WordPress, which is the most popular blogging platform.

Blogging can be monetized in different ways and methods. They include advert placement, affiliate marketing, sales of digital products, etc.

20. Video and Audio Editing and Production

In recent times, video content is getting more attention compared to picture and text-based content put together. This is why YouTube is the second most visited website in the world.

You can set up a  YouTube channel and grow it by regularly uploading useful videos to it. Once your channel has value, people will subscribe and come back to watch more videos.

I humbly recommend that digital literacy in higher education should be given all the seriousness that it deserves.

Final Thought

Digital literacy skill is one of the required skills in every job interview today. Teachers and parents have already understood the importance. The problem lies in knowing what to teach and that is what this post has discussed in detail without ambiguity.

Please use the comment section below to ask your question or share your view. Consider joining our Facebook Group to meet with other great teachers who are interested in EdTech. Also, subscribe to this blog by email and through our YouTube and Telegram Channels to receive regular EdTech updates.

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