Technology for social justice

The ABC of digital literacy

Literacy and numeracy are crucial for meeting the everyday demands of life, but the value of digital literacy is often categorised outside of this essential skill set.

National literacy and numeracy week highlights the importance of literacy skills for children and young people. Literacy is also the critical bedrock for understanding and accessing digital technology which has become indispensable to the creation of a socially inclusive society where all members have equal access to information technology and online participation.

Digital literacy is the ability to access, understand and participate in the digital world. Classic literacy and numeracy skills support digital literacy, however, with the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the move to expand basic services to online platforms, digital literacy is a critical aspect to participating effectively and confidently in today’s society.

Literacy and digital literacy go hand-in-hand as essential reading resources and information are more readily, and in some cases only, available in digital formats. Online media tools, such as social media, are enhancing digital literacy as well as providing choice, opportunity and a platform to influence social outcomes.

The key areas of digital literacy are access to digital technology, understanding the use and function of different types of digital services and having the skills to participate confidently and securely in the digital world.

In practice, digital literacy encompasses owning a home computer or mobile device, being connected to the internet, having basic computer and web skills and an understanding of how to use search engines to access information, resources and entertainment in various digital formats, connecting with friends and online communities through social media platforms, minimising personal risk through an understanding of cyber security issues and participating in the creation and publishing of online content, such as blog posts, digital photo albums or video.

A key driver of our work is to achieve digital literacy and create social equality and opportunity by empowering people through access to information technology. Infoxchange is working towards this through our community programs and suite of products and services for not-for-profits.

"Increasing digital literacy changes the way people engage with the world, how they seek opportunity and how they see themselves in relation to the things that matter most to them. Digital literacy enables people to get connected, continue learning online and increase their access to services, resources and everyday digital tools," says Gitanjali Maksay, Communications Coordinator at Infoxchange.

Recognising the importance of digital literacy, alongside classic literacy and numeracy skills, is key to creating a truly socially inclusive society. Empowering people through digital literacy means all members of our community will be equipped with the skills to participate fully in society and access the opportunities that the digital world can offer.

Find out more about our work in digital inclusion

Filed in: Digital skills | Tagged as: Digital Inclusion

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