The Digital Literacy Task Force of the American Library Association defines “digital literacy” as:
the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.1
In addition, a “digitally literate person”:
- possesses the variety of skills—cognitive and technical—required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats;
- is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to search for and retrieve information, interpret search results, and judge the quality of the information retrieved;
- understands the relationships among technology, lifelong learning, personal privacy, and appropriate stewardship of information;
- uses these skills and the appropriate technologies to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion the general public;
- uses these skills to participate actively in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.
As educators in the media saturated era of Web 2.0, it is paramount that we help our students to gain digital literacies as they earn their degrees in the liberal arts, as it will be impossible for them to participate in civic life, apply for jobs, control their data, etc. without this education to supplement their disciplinary training.
In an effort to help with this effort, DigLibArts, along with Wardman Library, will be producing recommended content, best practices, assignments and activities, and modules to assist faculty and departments to incorporate digital literacy skills into their curriculum.
1. American Library Association. “Digital Literacies, Libraries, and Public Policy: Report of the Office of Information Technology Policy’s Digital Literacy Task Force.” January 2013. CC-BY-3.0