Digital Literacy: Skills & Strategies provides a comprehensive collection of essays that help students, educators, and researchers understand the key and fundamental terms associated with the ever-evolving term, “digital literacy.”
What was once considered “media literacy” back in the early to mid-20th century to combat the growing powers of sensationalized journalism, war propaganda, and manipulative advertising practices has currently become a broad field encompassing many areas of skills, dispositions, creativity, and knowledge. These include both the technical and cognitive aptitudes.
Building a digital literacy skill set encompasses a diverse set of strategies, including:
- the development of critical thinking, evaluative skills, and ethical practices,
- the ability to understand how various media and technologies affect one’s thinking and assumptions,
- the emergence of familiarity with new and developing technical terms and concepts, and
- the ability to design, produce, deploy, and synthesize information and texts via digital means.
With the advent and explosion of social media, internet access, and smart phones/tablets/laptops, it is imperative that we help digital users acquire and develop skills and thought patterns to help them navigate the digital landscape with a discerning eye, to be able to tell fact from fiction, search out trusted sources of news and data, and help them avoid falling victim to digital predators, stalkers, bullies, and criminals.
Digital literacy is a living skill set that enables us to judge the credibility, intentions, and authenticity of a piece of digital media. Someone who is digitally literate is a conscientious, ethical, wise member of society who does not fall victim to lies, misinformation, “alternate facts,” or scams and who does not allow others to do likewise. Therefore, developing digital literacy also promotes digital citizenship.
This collection of essays is designed to help high school students, undergraduates, and adult readers develop and put these social, emotional, and technical facets of digital literacy into action. This volume introduces readers to the fundamentals of digital literacy using easy-to-understand language without the use of technical jargon. It is our aim to provide deeper levels of understanding for this inexorable area of vital twenty-first century life and workplace skills.