What IS Digital Literacy?

“Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”

–  American Library Association

Put in other words, digital literacy is simply using technology to enhance learning in the digital age. This is especially important in our society and our current century. Nowadays, everything is digital, whether we like it or not, and to deny students the chance to use the tools they already have, defeats the purpose of education and slows down progress. In a great article written by Ingvi Hrannar Ómarsson titled 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools, he lists some very important points that teachers need to be focusing on, rather than keeping with the standard ideas.

Digital fluency goes beyond being literate. Digital fluency is a combination of digital proficiency, digital literacy, and social competence. Being able to communicate well is the most important part of digital fluency. The difference between digital literacy and digital fluency is that being literate means being able to choose which technologies will work the best, and being fluent means being able to explain why that would be the best technology, and how it should be adapted. (More about digital fluency here.)

Essential elements of digital learning is best explained in this video:

It is important, nay, essential to incorporate using as many technologies as possible in the classroom. Especially in this day and age. So many amazing things can be done if we allow our students the technologies they need to succeed.

I think I already know quite a bit about digital literacy. I use technology every single day of my life, and almost every hour as well. I like to think I know how to find good resources that are reliable and safe. I use social media every day, and use it to communicate with friends and family on a regular basis. I have never had a blog before, but I know quite a bit about them and how to use them.

I want to learn how to use my knowledge of digital literacy in my own personal classroom. I think it can be somewhat challenging to use digital literacy in a music setting, but I have some ideas. I would like to have more ideas for the future though.

I expect to learn how to expand my knowledge of digital literacy and to use it for a very positive experience for my students.

In order to become effective digital learners and leaders, we need to take initiative to be as well adapt to digital literacy as possible. I think it wouldn’t be out of the question to be digital fluent as well. We, as teachers, need to be a step ahead of our students at all time, and in this day and age, that takes a lot more effort on our part, since the students grew up in a digital age, whereas most of us did not grow up with tablets in our hands.




7 thoughts on “What IS Digital Literacy?”

  1. You captured the said definition of Digital Literacy perfectly. In your blog you said that it is important to use as many technologies as needed? What is the “as many” technologies needed in your mind? Although I do love technology I am also a fan of the old fashioned ways so I do not think that using as many technologies as possible is necessary. Thanks!


    1. Thank you! In my mind as many technologies needed is what the students know how to use and/or can learn! Which means almost every technology out there! I can understand people being a fan of the old fashioned ways, but how do you know it’s going to be the best for your students? In my opinion, you need to use new ideas to keep students engaged. It’s hard to keep students interested with old ideas and old technology. To keep things interesting, new technologies need to be explored. Thanks for the response!


  2. I agree that many great things can come out of Digital Literacy in the classroom. Have you ever experienced a “virtual field trip”? I have not personally, but I know many Elementary teachers who use them and they love them! It is important to stay up to date on the latest technologies so your classroom can be exciting for your students. Great post!


  3. Wow. Really nice and helpful definitions about digital literacy and fluency. Thank you for the pictures you created for me. I do also think that we need to be fluent and literate at technology. I also do not know how many is enough. Unfortunately technology is ever evolving and therefore requires us to continue learning it in order to best guide our students. Again, thank you for the valuable definitions and information.


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