As citizens of a world that is increasingly influenced by technology and the Internet, it is very important for us to be ‘digitally literate’.
The definition of ‘digital literacy’ has changed with the evolution of technology; at present, it refers to our competence to find, evaluate, share, communicate, and create content digitally in an ethical manner.
Compared to digital skills that focus on technical usage, digital literacy looks at our navigation through numerous forms of digital media, whether offline or online via our computers or mobile devices.
For instance, conducting an online search or posting on social media sites are digital skills, while our ability to search effectively or use social media carefully (such as authenticating which information is real or fake) is part of digital literacy.
A digitally literate person is highly aware of the aspects of digital media and information, and is responsible in using technology when interacting with others.
This means having skills relevant to the digital age such as critical thinking, communication and information management, and in the global environment, having a great understanding of different cultures, languages, and communication approaches.
With the advent of digital economy, more businesses and public services are going online, while technological productivity and innovation across industries have become key factors in a country’s economic growth.
Thus, beyond technological skills, a digitally literate workforce is capable of adapting and thriving in various digital environments, and creating meaningful content through collaborations.
In fact, more jobs require high ICT competencies, and several studies suggest that talents with a strong foundation in digital literacy are more employable in the labour market.
The demand for digitally literate workers is perhaps the reason why many digital literacy discussions focus on early exposure through education, for today’s generation of children and youths are digital natives, who are already familiar with digital technology from an early age.
Parents and teachers are encouraged to teach them crucial digital literacy skills such as online privacy and protection, effective online research, and appropriate online behaviour.
Still, it is never too late for you to improve your digital literacy; regardless of age, having digital literacy not only supports your academic and career endeavours, but also your participation in the society at large.
Therefore, you need to be comfortable with being in the digital landscape and understand the value of using digital platforms to improve your confidence and fluency in digital literacy.
You also need to practise and hone your skills in using these platforms constantly, and commit to becoming a lifelong learner of digital technology so that you are prepared for the next digital technological evolution.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2G6h70S
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