What is meant by digital literacy?
Digital literacy means being able to understand and use technology. It relates to the ability to find, use and create information online in a beneficial and useful way.Digital literacy also means knowing the limitations of technology and understanding the dangers and precautions that the use of technology requires - Google
For example: A small business owner creates a Facebook page. They will need to know how to create content and how to post/schedule content, understand etiquette and policies of that platform as well as understanding how to use from a laptop or mobile device. Or they have a website. They will need an understanding of data management – how they using client data, how they are keeping it safe? Topics such as GDPR are not going to go away.
Just this year alone TikTok took the internet by storm a platform avidly used by the younger generation and continues to enjoy huge success and is still a platform that leaves the older ones baffled. While a youngster knows how to download and have fun with the platform, their digital literacy may go no further than the download. There’s more to using an app and having fun with it, they too need to be aware of its dangers.
The way we do things today has changed forever. Many business owners are still clinging to the ‘old school’ rather than become digitally savvy. They are quite happy doing what they have always done. The flip side is that your competition has an all singing all dancing website, he’s got pay per click sorted, a landing page keeping him busy with leads. His Facebook Ads are going great guns. His office sends an SMS when his team are on route. His team are out and about with mobile technology at their finger tips ready to email invoices over in an instant. He’s got them doing quick TikToks. He’s able to buy supplies and upload his purchasing details straight to his accounting system in the cloud. His business is digitally savvy, but does that make him digitally literate?
Personally I love technology and I love old school. Yes I have a Filofax! My digital journey started back in 1993 working for a Building Society which was migrating from written ledgers to Microsoft. I put myself forward for train the trainer and was part of a 4 month training program teaching staff how to use it, and I absolutely loved it! There was a lot of resistance back then. Staff just didn’t understand it. They had been so used to writing in ledgers seeing the columns of money in and money out that it was completely alien to see this information be input and used in a technological way. Computers were seen largely in offices but then became accessible for home use. Mobiles became fashionable and boy how they have changed over the last two decades, so much sophistication has enabled them to be part of our every day lives. From waking up to going to sleep and everything in between from banking to dating, entertainment and shopping. Our lives have become so entwined with technology but do we know what is happening with our data and digital footprint?
I use technology every day – I know how it threads and weaves together – but I am a front end user. Understanding behind the screen to me is like opening a creaky door to a dusty engine room. I know enough to be able to talk about it and of it to be understood [bit like learning the French language!!], which has got me thinking about my own literacy levels.
Should you want to think about your own digital literacy, here are some useful links to get you going.