Digital literacy is another of those slippery terms which we use frequently but which are open to very different interpretations. Thus we are frequently talking at cross purposes.
At one end of the spectrum digital literacy is seen as being about "the general ability to use computers" (The Royal Society 2012, p.5). To quote the explanation of digital literacy in the English National Curriculum for Computing:
able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world
At the other end of the spectrum digital literacy
is a mindset, a mode of thinking, an expression of values, a set of ever rising expectations, an ability to draw on many connected elements, a way of learning and understanding how to learn, a taking charge of one’s own learning, being able to network, to accommodate accelerating change, to continually grow the capabilities and to use them 24/7/365, lifelong
I think that Lee and Broadie's definition is too broad, because it encompasses what I have argued is the definition of 'human learning'. However, digital literacy should encompass being able to operate effectively as a citizen, which entails:
- the ability to use digital technology effectively, including:
- being able to locate, organise, understand, evaluate, analyse and (re)present information in multiple media (including using dynamic and procedural representations)
- being able to confidently adapt to new/unfamiliar applications and platforms (which is about your mindset and problem solving capabilities)
- an understanding of how digital technology impacts on us as individuals and on societies more broadly, for example:
- how personal data can be used (and mis-used) (e.g. What you don't know about how Facebook uses your data)
- the ways in which the Internet is radicalising the world
- how AI may change society
- understanding the nature of online identities and being able to manage your online presence (e.g. Jigsaw: a film about being careful with information online) and interact safely in a digital world (encompassing e-safety and cyber-bullying)
I would argue that in order to develop digital literacy it needs to be embedded across the curriculum and children need to be given the opportunity to make genuine choices about when and how they use digital technology.