Digital Literacy

What is digital literacy?

When we talk about digital literacy, we are referring to more than knowing how to use a computer. As stated by Associate Professor Jo Coldwell-Neilson, Teaching and Learning, in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University: it is the ability to identify and use technology confidently, creatively and critically to meet the demands and challenges of living, learning and working in a digital society.

Digital literacy is about using digital platforms to explore, evaluate, create, and share information. In an increasingly online world, it’s a crucial skill for social life and working life. For example, technological advancements now mean that companies have an immense amount of data available to them. When confronted with so much information (often in different formats) someone who is digital literate has the ability to produce, identify, critically evaluate and apply both qualitative and quantitative findings.

Why is digital literacy important in the workplace?

With technology being present everywhere these days, issues around privacy and security are really coming to the fore. This means that any successful business person must have up-to-date digital literacy skills if they are to use digital technology efficiently and effectively.

Being digitally literate means more than being able to use technology. It is the ability to interact critically and effectively within a digitally-enhanced environment, whether it be social, educational or corporate. It is the knowledge of how to behave ethically and professionally with respect to cultural and social expectations in digital environments.

The use of digital communication avenues as exponentially grown over the past few years, and individuals with the skills to collaborate, participate and communicate in online environments are highly sought-after. A person with a high level of digital literacy recognises the applications of their skills in each platform. Combined with the knowledge of how to manage their digital footprint, this has vast applications for businesses.