Exploring Digital Literacies Reflections

Digital Confidence Profile:

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The pie chart is a perfect representation of my digital abilities, as I have always admitted that I was not very technologically capable and adept. I am 50% comfortable and 50% competent, which ultimately shows me that I have several areas that I should improve in. I’m not surprised by my results because my abilities go only as far as communicating with my friends, researching and finishing my assignments. Therefore, I believe that the most crucial area for improvement for me is the “communicate and collaborate” because the only means of communication I have online is with friends as I have just mentioned. I never take the extra mile to try to voice out the opinions of marginalized groups for instance or the opinions of myself. So I hope that this course will give me more confidence in choosing to communicate and/or collaborate with others so that we could tackle issues or just to exchange valuable information. Using the internet or public domains can open up so many opportunities for communication with others and that is why I hope to improve in this domain.

Digital Literacies for Online Learning:

These are the definitions I found for Digital Literacy, Digital Skills and Digital Fluency. Below each definition is the URL for the source and any writing in blue is comments I have about the definition.

 Wikipedia: Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphonestabletslaptops and desktop PCs for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy. While digital literacy initially focused on digital skills and stand-alone computers, the focus has shifted from stand-alone to network devices including the Internet and social media. The term digital literacy was simplified by Paul Gilster in his 1997 book Digital Literacy. Gilster described digital literacy as the usage and comprehension of information in the digital age. He also emphasized the importance of digital technologies as an “essential life skill.”

In my opinion, yes I do believe that this is a good description of what digital literacy means. I especially like how at first the definition was given but then it was in a way compared to how it used to be defined and how now with the never-ending technological advancements, it has shifted to a more complex meaning. It also outlines digital literacy as “an essential life skill”, which I also found to be a common theme between most articles I have read and especially the article I found on Twitter.

Twitter: “the skills and capabilities needed to participate fully, effectively and equally in our digital world. By: Jason Tham

It further focuses on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in reducing global inequalities and improving education, health, job opportunities, and empowerment prospects around the world.”


I found this article to have valuable information because it did not merely define digital literacy and end at that, but the author of the article went on to emphasize the importance of said ability in order to strive in the modern world we are living in now. Aside from the definition, I included another part of the article which I found interesting because imagine if everyone in the world was digitally literate, don’t you think we could stand and unite together against oppressions and inequalities? Don’t you think we could also have a global platform where we would empower, inspire and improve the general well-being of people all around the world? But this idea goes into a whole other dilemma (which I read about in another article), and that dilemma is that we will never or at least for the time being, achieve this global digital unity since people around the world, mainly in developing countries do not have access to most technologies and even if they did they might not have a certain level of competence that is needed.


Definitions for Digital Literacy

1) What is Digital Literacy?

  • “The ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information. 
  • The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. 
  • A person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment… Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.”


2) “Digital literacy is the ability to interpret and design nuanced communication across fluid digital forms.”

As the internet dissolves into something more seamless–that no longer requires a clunky web browser to make itself visible–we might adjust our perspectives in parallel.”


3) “Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”



Definition of Digital Skill

1) “The term digital literacy is the: ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. Digital skill is defined as

Digital skills involve the knowledge and ability to determine information needs from digital technology sources, and to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to input, access, organize, integrate and assess digital resources as well as to construct new knowledge, create media expressions and communicate with others. Digital skills include both technical skills associated with understanding and using digital systems, tools, and applications, as well as information processing skills, which are the cognitive underpinnings of digital proficiency (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)”



Definition of Digital Fluency

 1) “In a digital context for learning, fluency involves using technologies “readily and strategically to learn, to work, and to play, and the infusion of technology in teaching and learning to improve outcomes for all students”1

Being ‘digitally literate’ means acquiring the skills to make and create meaning, and select technologies to do so. Being fluent requires competencies and capabilities that go beyond the skill level. Someone who is digitally fluent not only selects tools and knows what to do with them, but can explain why they work in the way they do and how they might adapt what they do if the context were to change. 

For example, if you are literate, you might be able to follow instructions to set up a shared document online and use it for a clear purpose. If you are fluent, you can self-select from a range of tools to achieve the same outcome, navigate collaborative spaces effectively and confidently with other people.

Fluency represents the highest order – that of ‘unconscious competence’ – “


What are the differences between digital literacies, digital fluency and digital skills? How are these concepts related?

From my understanding from the definitions that I have read for the three terms I thought to myself that they could be put into order with Digital Skill being first, followed by Digital Literacy and then comes Digital Fluency. If I were to explain the differences I would say that digital skill is having the basic abilities that are expected of you to carry out any technological activity, whereas digital literacy is to understand the different modes of technologies and which one to use when. And lastly, digital fluency is when you have mastered both all levels of digital skill and literacy, which in turn makes you digitally fluent. I wanted to find more examples of these differences and found these (URL is provided below). “Digital skills mean that you can follow a step-by-step process of creating an email account. Digital literacy means that you can recognize spam, know why it is being sent, and understand how email providers use filters to minimize potential harm.

Digital skills mean that you know how to use Microsoft Word. Digital literacy means that you can use Microsoft Word to clearly and effectively communicate all the key components of an assignment.

Digital skills mean you can show someone how to borrow e-books. Digital literacy means that you know why some e-books aren’t available in New Zealand libraries, even though those same e-books can be purchased online”. http://www.techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/digital-skills-are-not-the-same-as-digital-literacy

Another explanation I found online that perfectly describes the difference between literacy and fluency is as follows:

“A literate person is perfectly capable of using the tools. They know how to use them and what to do with them, but the outcome is less likely to match their intention. It is not until that person reaches a level of fluency, however, that they are comfortable with when to use the tools to achieve the desired outcome, and even why the tools they are using are likely to have the desired outcome at all.”


To explain the difference in simple words to myself I used the example of languages. When someone is “literate”, they know how the sentence is supposed to sound and what it would mean, whereas a fluent person would not have to think about it from a superficial level because they would already know what is expected of them when and which skills they have will let help them come up with a perfectly structured sentence.

Sharing credible links your find on the topic on bookmarks.oeru.org (our resource repository for this course)




Sharing personal reflections on why digital literacy matters to you via forums.oeru.org.

On website.

Read: What is digital literacy? Published by POMO – Is this a reliable source?

This source does not explicitly define digital literacy, instead it only gives the reader the needed skills for one to be digitally literate. Yes i believe it is as it has given the same examples as most of the other sources that i have read and it also explains digital literacy as another extra step after just having the basic digital skills that most people have by saying that one should consider the ethical issues of certain technologies.

How would you rate the academic quality of the definitions you found (e.g. low / high)?

In this context i don’t think that i was able to rule out an article as being credible and another as being unacademic because when it comes to definitions, they will be to some extent subjective based on the perspective of the person who wrote it. So i would say that they were high on academic quality because even though each definition was written in a different manner, they each had the same general idea in the end. But in general, each definition i found from the various sources was different and i think that was very interesting for me.

The major difference between digital skills and literacies is …

Digital Skills is the “How and What” whereas Literacies is the “Why and When”.

I didn’t realise that …

That there was a distinctive difference between digital skills and literacy, i actually did not even know that the term digital literacy existed before i signed up for this course.

For me, digital literacy means …

The ability to use different digital skills and to apply them using different technologies

What do you decide are the most important elements of digital literacies, given the Egyptian context and your own personal context

The most important element is the cultural one because given the Egyptian context, we must be able to distinguish between how to use digital domains like Instagram for instance as opposed to blackboard for studying.

Your reflections on the Hypothes.is activity 

It was quiet interesting for me to download this extension and to play around with it because i never really heard about it before. I loved how it was an interactive platform open to the public where you could instantly annotate, add a comment or question to something in an article and also read what others have said about it. I am excited about having it on my laptop now as i plan on using it for future articles that i read and that i may find interesting. I think that this interactive platform is very beneficial academically as you could learn from people’s comments and they could learn from yours.



One thought on “Exploring Digital Literacies Reflections

  1. Jana, I enjoyed several things about your post but the thing I liked most is the article you found that brought a developing world and inequalities perspective. Thanks for that one. I also liked what you found on digital fluency as unconscious competence


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