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Digital Literacy – What does it mean?

If we consider the basic Wikipedia definition of digital literacy as referring to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate and compose clear information through writing and other mediums on various digital platforms, then we could be missing some critical elements of what it means to be digitally literate in the current century. According to Coldwell-Neilson (2019) digital literacy also implies the ability to identify and use technology in a confident, creative and often critical manner so the demands and challenges of life, learning and working in a digital society are met.

What does this mean for our students at MacKillop College? It implies the need for our students to be flexible, adaptable and lifelong learners, as they will need to develop and adapt their digital literacy skills while maintaining their digital footprint over their lifetime. Some of these skills may include:

  • responsibly, thoughtfully and confidently utilising a variety of technological tools in a constantly fluctuating digitally enhanced environment
  • being able to locate, engage with and critically evaluate for authenticity, information from a variety of sources
  • the ability to transfer learnt skill sets to new and varied platforms, applications and contexts (digital fluency)
  • curation of data and media sources to collate information
  • their communication, collaboration and participation in online environments in a respectful and ethical manner
  • safe management of an online identity as well as personal security and privacy
  • creation of online content that is professional, ethical as well as culturally and socially acceptable

Coldwell-Neilson, J. (2019). What is digital literacy? Retrieved from https://developingemployability.edu.au/what-is-digital-literacy/