Digital Literacy vs. Digital Fluency

I want to help families to better understand digital fluency and digital literacy, and let you know how you can support your family in developing these crucial skills. It’s no secret that more and more learning is happening online. It’s more important than ever to be both digitally literate and fluent. The digital world can offer so much in terms of engagement and enrichment.

What is digital literacy?

Here is the definition from The American Library Association’s digital-literacy task force

“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

It comes down to how children consume digital content, create and build content, and then share or communicate what they learn.

Finding digital content to read is different then finding and reading a book at the library. Kids have to learn how to shift through what comes up when they search for something and how to determine what is good and reliable content. 

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Creating digital content involves learning to write emails, blogs, and create other kinds of content like videos. This is a great time to set up a Gmail account for your child and let them write emails to friends and family with your supervision. 

Learning appropriate digital etiquette is also part of digital literacy and a huge and important part! We need to teach our children how to turn off the video if they need to leave for the bathroom or are having other disruptions in the background.

What is digital fluency?

Digital fluency is the ability to understand and use technological tools for learning. Students need to develop a set of skills related to the tech we are using for learning. Another part of digital fluency is knowing what programs to use for different tasks and being able to navigate those platforms.

If your child is assigned a writing task do they know how to access google docs? Do they know that it saves their work automatically? Can your child get on and off Zoom? Do they know how to mute and unmute?

How you can help your child at home. 

Embrace Technology. It’s time to learn. It is no longer going to be acceptable to say you are a “tech dinosaur” or “not good with tech.” You can learn and so can your children. 

Teach your children about the platforms you use for various tasks. Like it or not, for most of us, tech is woven into our lives. Let your children practice using the mouse and help them learn to type. Teach them about digital safety and how to get in and out of the platforms they use. The more you work with your kids on their tech literacy, the better they will get. 

How is your comfort level with technology? 

If you know tech is not your strong point, it may be time to call on a professional. My husband’s business is SD Tech Tutorials and when you book with him you’ll get recommendations of the best technology for online learning, affordable computer recommendations, and tips and tricks to maximize your internet at home. 

Book your discovery call and improve your digital fluency by emailing sdtechtutorials@gmail.com.

About the Author Ashley DiMercurio