Importance of Digital Literacy in Education

For Literacy Digital (Digital Literacy) is the ability to use new media and new technologies to actively participate in an increasingly digitalised society. In a report of March 25, 2010, the European Parliament highlights the presence and importance of ICT (information and communication technologies) in all aspects of citizen’s life.

Digital literacy and its importance:

In this new digital society, each individual cannot avoid the use of technology, given their enormous economic and social potential and the great benefit they bring to cultural growth through the dissemination of knowledge.

Furthermore, digital skills require a solid awareness of IST – Information Society Technologies, which can be an opportunity to support creativity and innovation. A “digital conscience”makes it possible to understand the potential risks of the Internet and the problems related to the validity and reliability of the information available.

It is not easy to clearly and unambiguously define the real basic skills and, moreover, it is difficult to equate the different levels of users who have independently learned the use of new technologies. Even today, the high level of digital and computer illiteracy, which affects the ability to move within the information society, prevents the creation of competent digital citizens.

It is necessary to raise the level of mastery of basic skills (alphabetic, mathematical and digital) and support the development of the ability to learn to learn as a constantly better prerequisite for learning and participating in society in a lifelong learning perspective.

Digital education for young people: against cyber bullying:

For the so-called “digital natives “, young people who have grown up with technology, the web is an integral part of their lives and, not surprisingly, they prove to be the most competent users. However, even in this category, it is possible to find substantial differences. The results of a digital competence test, carried out on a causal sample of students, showed how the boys are prepared from a strictly operational point of view but lacking in critical awareness of the use of the Web.

Digital literacy does not simply mean knowing how to use a tablet but providing tools to educate students, teachers and parents about the understanding and use of the network in a conscious and safe way. The fight against fake news and cyber bullying begins, in fact, from the school desks, highlighting the risks that are run with a distorted use of the internet.

On the web it is much simpler and more immediate to express one’s opinion, often in a reckless way, with the sole purpose of astonishing and gathering support. The so-called “keyboard lions” (people who “spit venom” online) draw strength from the illusion of anonymity and physical distance from the recipients, most of the time ignoring the enormous consequences of their actions. Depersonalization and de-responsibilization are the masters, phenomena not yet sufficiently understood and studied in depth. The cyberbullies live the whole thing as a joke aimed at procuring mere annoyance to the victims but, in reality, it is a real psychological violence which, in some cases, has led the victim also to perform extreme gestures.

The European Council has also promoted computer literacy since primary school, inviting Member States to act in a targeted manner to increase digital competence levels among pupils of all ages, through support for teachers and creation of safe learning environments, in particular for disadvantaged and marginalized individuals. The parents are also addressed, with the aim of reducing the digital gap between the generations, in order to establish a dialogue and a mutual understanding. Russell Hazard is passionate about contributing to improvements in education both at the grassroots school level and at the level of international policy. Russell Hazard Beijing also works to build international partnerships across sectors such as public/private education, NGOs, and international educational organizations to enhance discourse in ESD and GCED and improve impact on the ground internationally.

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