Digital literacy is fairly new and is the ability to read and critically understand what is being read across different digital platforms such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones. The world we live in today it's very crucial to have digital literacy otherwise life for everyone would be difficult. These skills enable us to communicate efficiently and tackle on day to day problems with ease. One way I put my skills to use is through social media, it enables me to network with people all around the world and raises my awareness of what's going in the world today. More importantly I incorporate digital literacy in my higher education through the use of Blackboard, online research, and other websites that allow me to further my education. Without digital literacy I would fail a majority of my courses. We are truly lucky to live in this era of time where I can communicate with friends and family with ease or do online research for a specific assignment.
Use of social media is a perfect example of how important digital literacy is today. Due to the fact that a majority of the world has some type of social media account, you could say digital literacy is just as important as being literate. I personally use social media everyday to stay connected and understand how our society works. Back when Facebook was the must have social media account, I used it to spread my ideas and point of views. My posts went from how corrupt the system tends to be towards minorities to how music artists influence the decisions of my fellow peers. Facebook also opened the door for me to see just how social media affects our society. It's crazy to think how someone's Facebook post can have negative affects in real life. When twitter came about it changed social media since now you have a word limit and the point of Twitter is to tweet as much as you want without worrying about how much you tweet. On Facebook I felt it was more structured and organized in a way that sort of constricted what you posted. I used Twitter to speak what was on my mind in that exact moment so in a way Twitter was like a journal of my thoughts. Twitter now even has news network accounts that can keep you up to date on events going on in the world, so in a way it can keep more informed than if I wait for the news to come on a television network. The invention of Instagram sparked another change in social media. Before everyone just posted words and some pictures here and there but on Instagram the point is to share pictures of our daily lives along with a caption. Now people can see exactly what I do in my daily life with pictures such as just as going out with friends or enjoying a nice view up at Monkey Face. I actually got closer to some friends in my life because of Instagram. Now I can see what interests other people around me had and some of those interests were the same as what I posted. With that being said we would set up days where we would all go do those things that we were interested in such as riding our skateboards to the beach or discovering new restaurants around Los Angeles. The revolution of Snapchat created another media frenzy. In some ways Snapchat can be compared to Twitter, for example just like Twitter on Snapchat you can post daily stories on your account. So people can see what I'm up to as the day goes on. A key difference is I can send snaps directly to people on my friends list. This makes it fun because I send my friend a picture of something I thought was funny and vice versa. For example, when my puppy does something hilarious like trying to play with my vacuum I send it to people who I know love dogs and would enjoy that snap. Youtube is another great example of how important digital literacy is today. Youtube has millions of videos ranging from how to videos to videos of people doing the funniest things. Just about anything you type in the search bar there is a video about it. I personally love watching soccer videos and videos of things going on in the world that doesn't make it to news for whatever reason. In order to use social media some level of digital literacy is required, some more than others, but without it we would not be able to use these social media outlets.
Many can argue that the evolution of digital literacy has transformed education unlike anything before. Our laptops, tablets and smart phones can now become our most powerful tools. If I want to learn why the do earthquakes happen or how to improve my writing skills there will be countless websites containing the information I am seeking. One problem today, since there are so many websites available we have to decide which ones are credible and which ones are not. I personally have become a victim of this. In my junior year in high school our history teacher had us write an essay on how the US has affected the middle east and why it continues to happen. We had to be careful not to be bias. As I searched for information on this subject many websites did pop up that were very bias. I eventually decided my top 3 websites I will be using for the essay. I went on and wrote my essay without realizing one website was criticizing the US very harshly in it's involvement. I believed the source was credible and the information presented to me seemed valid. A week later we received our grades and I received a C-. I talked to my teacher about it believing I deserved a better grade and he explained to me some of the information I used was completely bias. He added that one of the websites I used harshly criticized the US for it's involvement, which I was led to believe was true. Many of the facts were indeed not true and the creator of the website was a known conspiracy theorist who overall harshly criticized the US. This goes to show how important it is to understand digital literacy, otherwise we may fail courses and allow people to spread information that is just not true. After that incident I made sure I never use another opinion based website. Other ways digital literacy is important to education is the use of websites such as Blackboard Learn and Launchpad. Blackboard allows me to stay connected to my courses and professors. I know I use Blackboard frequently throughout the day to do homework assignments and use the various extra resources our professors provide. Launchpad is a website professors can use just like Backboard but usually is used for just homework assignments and reading. Launchpad can be a bit more complicated than Blackboard so digital literacy is at the utmost importance There are countless ways I can use digital literacy in my education and I know I will eventually learn new ways to improve my skills. As a college student, I view digital literacy as a necessity for me to succeed. Although, digital literacy today is now important in all aspects of life both social and professional.