Exploring Digital Literacies

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“einstein digital literacy” by aidan.expeditionflickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To be honest I don’t think I have had any previous opinions about digital literacy before taking this course, but when I think about the term now and how I could have interpreted it before, I found myself defining it as some sort of minimal abilities or skills someone acquires to deal with technology, and when I say technology I mean the simplest form of it like applications, social media, and basic softwares; thus, people who are considered to be digitally illiterate could not deal with technology whatsoever.

Now I have realized that Knowing how to use technology is probably the most basic step to become digitally literate. In the article  “differences between digital literacies and digital skills” we find that digital literacy is a much more sophisticated concept. It is concerned with recognizing how to use technology the right way, for example, being digitally literate means you know how to protect your privacy, communicate with people, evaluate the information you find online and avoid negative consequences when using social media. Even Though I could use technology in many skillful ways I  Personally find myself to be a little behind when it comes to digital literacy, but since I am really not a regular user of technology it was never an issue for me. However, I sometimes feel like my privacy could be easily breached because I have no knowledge on how to protect myself from these sort of things.

Extreme thinking is another thing we must protect ourselves from when using social media. The podcast episode we were asked to listen to in class discusses the importance of introducing digital literacy to young people in order to raise awareness on how they could deal and assess fake news. This recording actually reminded me of a video I watched a year ago about an African American poet and activist Theo Wilson went undercover on the white supremacist; in this video Wilson explains how social media fostered his extreme thought. Social media usually use cookies which study people’s behavior and the material they like and then supply them with similar ones; this was the case here in Egypt during various political periods, as people who supported certain beliefs were mainly provided with information about these beliefs after using certain keywords on the search engines and social media. I have done a social experience myself after watching Wilson’s video and decided to use certain keywords on youtube and watch videos related to beliefs that are different from my own and after a while my “up next” section became filled with similar videos. The same thing is happening to many young people today because they were not digitally educated, therefore, schools and parents are responsible for teaching children how to evaluate and deal with digital platforms.

Meanwhile in order to understand more about digital literacy I decided to watch a TED talk by educational researcher Doug Belshaw’s who discussed the eight elements of digital literacy. The most interesting thing about his speech is the fact that he encourages people to create and innovate using digital platforms, this surprised me because we have been continuously talking about the negative outcomes of digital platforms that I became hesitant to use it at all , but being digitally literate only means that you deal with digital platforms with a more intelligent approach.

 

PS: I have applied my first digital literacy lesson and uploaded my first attributed photo from flickr.

 

sources: Episode 1 , Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies, and Teaching BothThe essential elements of digital literacies: Doug Belshaw at TEDxWarwickA black man went undercover online as a white supremacist. This is what he learned.

 

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2 thoughts on “Exploring Digital Literacies

  1. Great reflection, Dalia, and great connections to Egypt and thanks for bringing up Theo Wilson. Could you add links to every source you’ve referenced here? [good job with the image citation, too!]

    Like

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