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Digital Literacy by Kratika Trivedi

Digital Literacy by Kratika Trivedi, FHI Lucknow

Digital Literacy is something that has gained much relevance due to the extreme changes happening around us and is wider and more expansive than what we generally comprehend. Wikipedia quotes it as, “an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, compose clear information through searching, writing and other media on various digital platforms which are evaluated by its grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce text, images, audio and designs using emerging technologies.”

This just not limits to having a virtual presence on social media sites and sharing your opinions but also incorporates being aware of the digital tools, their functions, utilities and using them constructively as a solution to any problem. Today almost everyone has access to smartphones and internet connection but that merely does not serve the purpose completely because having a smartphone may help you surf digitally but it will not make you digitally literate unless you don’t set yourself in tune with its functions and how it can benefit you. Even the Gen-X is getting to know new digital equipment every other day and trying to adapt and integrate that technology into their life.

From connecting on social sites, sharing viral content to creating designs, digital marketing, online banking, tracking health online, ordering food, groceries and getting personal services at your doorstep… this whole world is spinning digitally. Using digital platforms has made life way easier but how will that be of any use when most of the population lacks the resources or knowledge for being digitally accessible!

According to The Digital Empowerment Foundation 2018, 90% of India’s population is digitally illiterate. However, statistics may have been changed today but, it will not completely dissolve the fact that our country needs to make digital literacy a priority from the scratch –

  1. Schools and other educational institutions can devise specific courses with wholesome knowledge of software and their best alternatives available for usage, with beginner to advanced level courses available to children in their successive classes.

  2. Giving practical knowledge along with theoretical knowledge about the computers, laptops, and other digital devices available where the children can actually use and experience it.

  3. Donating your old or not-so-competent smartphones to the children who do not have access to them, who still do not know how to use it and educating them about the right use of it.

  4. Volunteers can start weekly awareness programs whereby they visit schools, NGOs talk about their experiences with digital devices, learn opinions of the kids, what their limitations are and clear their doubts regarding the digital world and also educate them about the privacy concerns, plagiarism, credibility of the information being circulated, digital frauds, etc.

  5. Help them learn coding, java, and other courses through YouTube, from where they can learn all of that for free.

  6. Arranging interactive classes where every child brings an imaginative solution for a current problem by using digital tools.

  7. Group Application and Discussion session in which children would form groups and will be given some software, and will be asked to learn its features and creative uses, thereby discussing its alternative and learning collectively.

  8. Using the government’s Digital India policy effectively under which there are e-paathshala, e-hospitals, online learning platforms for children from rural areas.

  9. Collaborating with tech startups or giants who can help spread the knowledge to children over a diversified area about the digital products they are creating, how they can be used, and much more.

Digital Literacy is a necessity today as it will equip us not just with knowledge but also with confidence, self-esteem and will bring us the right exposure by making us dynamic for today’s competition.

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