Digital Literacy

The process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology
  • Digital basics: browsers, search engines, e-mail
  • Evaluating online resources; accuracy, security, etc.
  • Exploring and developing online learning modes and distance education

Aim: To create a 'c-book' on what it means to be a digital citizen in the 21st century.


Digital Literacy is the ability to use technology for different reasons such as information, communication (E-Mail), and the effects it has on us. It can lead to major changes in society and it impacts more personal issues such as health. The goal of Digital Literacy is to teach the basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use the new technology in their everyday life.

Literacy doesn't necessarily mean "able to read" like it did twenty years ago. In this age of technology, literacy has to do with digital basics and knowing the difference between real and fake websites. One article that explains the change in literacy to the literacy of the 21st Century is Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century. This article explains how 'Literacy today depends on understanding the multiple media that make up our high-tech reality and developing the skills to use them effectively'. Everyone who uses the internet today should realize that there are plenty of fake websites on the web, and that we should take the time to learn about them and how to prevent them.


There have been many cases where private information was revealed throughout the internet. People have to be aware that anything they do through the internet can be revealed. Most people don't realize this but even confidential e-mailscan be found and read. Even if those e-mails are deleted later, they can still be found and restored. This just shows that any information brought into the internet is open to others.

Another example of Digital Literacy is the Copyright and Fair Use Law. In order for something to be copyrighted, it must be the original and fixed document. Much of the items on the internet are copyright protected already. Although ripping, mixing, and burning still exist, so people are still cutting, pasting, and potentially copyright infringing on a day to day basis.

Social aspects

The social / ethical issues that follows digital literacy is developing according to past results. For example, the television is one source of digital literacy, but since the internet has expanded across the globe, in schools, offices, hospitals, and many other places, it has become increasingly important towards all aspects. Therefore, socially, the internet is now being used for spreading and recieveing information. Digital Literacy 'urgently needed' is an article that talks about the effects the internet has on societies and how it has been and still is being dealt with.

Possible solutions

There is one simple solution to this problem; and that is to not put any private information on the internet. You shouldn't do this because it can be spread easily and be restored even after deleted. Computer users need to be aware that the computer can do things most people don't know of, and so it is quite easy to get any information from it. What you put on the internet is open to everyone, so you should never put anything you don't want anyone else to see on the internet.

Another solution would be educating people of all ages about digital literacy and the uses of the internet. Everyone who uses a computer should know the correct way to use the internet. An effective way to teach people would be to give online courses and help people become responsible digital citizens.

Guidelines for teens

Input/Ideas for Digiteen Contract

Online Addiction

Digital literacy is using and knowing about technology and also being aware of the effects it can have on people. Some effects can be harmful. One example of a bad effect is an addiction to the internet or other piece of technology. An example of an addiction caused by technology are online games. A few reasons they can become addicting are because they are fun, they kill time, and there is competition between other people. On the other hand, a downside is that they can become too addicting. When it becomes one of the major parts of your life, you are overdoing it. One gifted boy in Korea became so addicted to the game 'World Of Warcraft' that he didn't eat or drink for days and eventually died from dehydration. He played for 36 hours straight and left a note saying that he wanted to join the heroes of the game he worshiped.

What about using using Facebook or Myspace? There is an option to give out your address, telephone number, age and all other personal details. Its pretty obvious that you shouldn't give those details, but then again people still do it. The biggest danger of giving these details are child predictors. Even though the chance is small, you shouldn't risk giving out your personal info, besides, what's the point of giving those details anyway?

These examples leads up to 1337 (leet) language. This is used to help people type quicker and have less keys to press, such as 'u' for 'you', 'r' for 'are' or 'y' for 'why'/ It can come in handy, but it's a bad habit, and later on in life, when we only use computers to write, it will not come in handy. Also, it lowers your vocabulary range and ruins your IQ. An example of extreme 'leet' language is: Au5t1N is t3h r0xx0rz instead of "Austin Rocks", so it's actually more letters than it means.

Links to:
Action Qatar Academy
Action Vienna International School
Action Westwood School