The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognition and technical skills.” While digital literacy wasn’t critical 50 years ago, today it’s vital to success. People look to the Internet as a key source of information, and those who know how to find and consume digital content will be one step ahead.
One Digital World connects, educates, and empowers refugees with digital literacy. Let’s take a closer look at why this is so important.
Why is digital literacy so valuable?
Is digital literacy really the most valuable lifelong learning tool? For those who didn’t learn digital literacy in schools, they may have a hard time saying “yes.” However, think about the last day in your life where you didn’t use technology. Difficult, isn’t it? After all, you’re reading this article on a digital device right now.
This is why technological education should start early and continue throughout one’s lifetime. It’s not only vital to success in school now, but it can also lead to lifelong improvement. Certifications, trainings, and job applications are online. Without digital literacy, how can you take advantage of these opportunities that are waiting for you?
And while digital literacy is a lifelong learning process, it’s never too late to start!
What are some of the basics of digital literacy?
Wondering what digital literacy “looks” like? Here are some skills that help people on the path to digital literacy.
- Functional skills
These skills refer to the ability to navigate digital technology and use it appropriately.
- Critical thinking
Not all information on the Internet is accurate or relevant. Having the ability to discern which information will best meet their needs in any given context will serve an individual well.
- Online safety skills
The Internet poses a potential risk to whoever is on it. Being conscious of your personal safety when it comes to browsing and surfing the Internet as well as sharing any information is essential.
- Digital culture
Since the Internet has entered society, it has shaped the way we interact as humans. Knowing this can help put our use of technology into context.
- Collaboration and creativity
Technology can enhance problem-solving and communication skills. How can we use the Internet and other technology at our fingertips to improve our situation?
- Finding information
Do you remember the first time you were on a computer? It wasn’t so easy to navigate Google or any other platform. Finding information in a new system can be incredibly challenging. This is an important skill to learn.
- Communication and netiquette
Learning how to properly communicate on the web and with the proper etiquette is vital to success.
One Digital World works with refugees worldwide to help them gain digital literacy. By providing computer labs in refugee camps, individuals can become familiar with digital products and services like computers and the Internet and acquire employable skills, trainings, and certifications. The virtual support network opens up their options and allows them to find their own opportunities for a lifetime.