Nature and scope of digital literacy and the role it plays in the lives of young people and adults

Before we look at the nature, scope and role that digital literacy has on the lives of us all. Let us first ask......

What is digital literacy?

The definition given by the Cornell University is that it is "the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet"(, 2015).

The nature of digital literacy

The nature of digital literacy is, in my mind, is being comfortable using digital technologies, and having the ability to decide which piece of equipment or software is right for the job in hand. If you are to succeed as a digital citizen, you must be able to effectively use appropriate technology, infrastructure of that technology and its applications/software to access the services you require. You must also be respectful and safe in all you do within the digital world just as you would in the physical world.

The scope of digital literacy

The scope or use of digital literacy touches all aspects of our everyday lives. It is all encompassing in terms of its scope. In fact, it is very difficult to think of an element of our lives that is not affected by digital technology. With apps and software to help us find a job or a partner, use the household appliances to booking theatre or cinema tickets, holidays and getting the best deals possible on the shopping sites. If you want the best opportunities and offers then you need to be computer literate and digitally aware to be able to access these safely on the Internet. Without these skills or the necessary finance you are missing out on so much.

The role of digital literacy in the lives of young people and adults

Digital Literacy for young and old

Digital literacy impacts on our personal and professional relationships and lives mainly through social media and use of email, our financial wellbeing (or not), i.e looking for the best deals online and our leisure activities. It even affects our daily routine. For example, our alarm clock application on our mobile phones waking us up in the morning, news on our phones via the internet or social media and an application on a smart phone to ensure we have hot water for our morning shower. It organises our day and guides/navigates us to our meetings and engagements and even minutes our conversations. It helps us to keep in touch with loved ones on the go. It helps us to do our jobs via presentation and collaborative software that exists, as well as through synchronous tools like email. We can even use it to switch our heating on before we get home using an app on our phones. We shop using it and book a time to collect our goods or delivery of it to our door. We access our TV programmes, films, audio books, information and music when and where WE want, not just when they are scheduled or on a computer/laptop. Our children can record their favourite shows to watch over again. We then sit and share our experiences with our friends wherever they are instantly via text, What's App, Snap Chat, Face Time or social media from our front rooms. We now even do not need to read our own meter readings for our utility bills because a Smart meter can do this for us. The average person is never far from a device that will in some way be connecting them with the world at large.

And sum up



Created with images by kaboompics - "man reading touchscreen" • kaboompics - "laptop office work" • digitpedia - "Alarm On Blackberry Curve" • TeJyng - "food popcorn snack" • 955169 - "shower shower head water" • bfishadow - "Money" • Iselines - "Love" • flickingerbrad - "student_ipad_school - 235" • daisyelaine - "Ipad Time" • stevepb - "hands old typing" • DariuszSankowski - "iphone 6s plus"

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