Digital Literacy refers to the abilities a person has to manage and use regarding a wide range of technologically based communication devices and modalities that allow exchange of ideas, images, information, forms of entertainment at personal, social, or professional level. It implies the use and developement of abilities increasingly demanding and complex. Although, they are perceived to be easy and available.
Learning or acquiring digital literacies implies the recognition of the need and motivation to work at different levels of use and engagement. This learning will depend on economic power, willingness to learn, and availability. And of course fashion, some applications or devices may become trendy or out fashioned very quickly. The commercial career for the public preference influences the need or not to develop a skill or not. Printing, for instance, is something be do not need frequently nowadays.
Digital Literacies, according to Gavin Dudeney on his video New Literacies … Teachers and Learners provides a general view of the different types of literacies requiered nowadays in education. He identifies four types of literacies that differ on its focus:
- Literacies focused on information are related to the ability of efficiently search, identify, and evaluate information from the different sources.
- Literacies focused on mobile language are related to the ability to understand the language used in different mobile devices.
- Literacies focused on designing or redesigning. They refer to the way people combine different types of sources and devices, to generate new information.
- Literacies focused on connection are the abilities to move through different networks related to participation, personal information and interaction.
The level of mastery will depend of course on field of occupation and personal interets. So, literacies will be varying according to personal realities. In the case of teachers, it is important to identify the key literacies required for teachers in general, the level of mastery required, and the specific skills required in each field of knowledge.
UNESCO on its 2008 document “ICT-Competency Framework for Teachers” outlines the aspects to be considered and the specifications for each level of knowledge. It is important to draw the type of education required to attain the development goals to erradicate poverty and a sustainable economy. The objective is to develop a student centered approach for a curriculum that promotes problem-solving skill development, as well as, communication, collaborative learning, experimentation, critical thinking and creative expression. An education focused on solving the crucial issues of society.
Developing competences will have to cover teacher training as well as practice. It will cover: Undertanding ICTs in Education – the roles ICTs play in Education (basic principles of using ICTs)
- Curriculum and Assessment – What do learners must learn using ICTs as a tool for the process
- Pedagogy – Methodology and practice usint the ICTs
- ICT – Tools available fot the learning process
- Organisation and Administration – Use of ICTs at all levels of the process.
- Teacher Professional Training – Crucial the developmetnt of teacher’s abilitities
These aspects will be developed according to the level of knowledge of each group and also the level of availability of the resources: Technology Literacy (starting skills), Deepening Knowledge (problem-solving knowledge), and Creative Knowledge (creating new knowlege).
Digital literacy in education; Policy brief; 2011 – UNESDOC -Unesco