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Digital Literacy Skills of 21st Century


DigitalLiteracy Skills of 21stCentury

DigitalLiteracy Skills of 21stCentury

Literacyhas always been important. In the past centuries, communication wasvia letters and other forms. This letters later turned to telegraphsin the 19th century and in the recent years developed into telephonesinternet, email, etc. Nowadays students learn in ways the pastcenturies could never have imagined. Over the years, the use ofcomputers and new technology has been on the rise. For instance, lastyear the use of the internet was 2.4 billion users around the world.It is projected that in this 21st century by 2025 the number would beat about 6 billion users globally per year. This paper will dwell onthe vitality of digital literacy in the current globe.

Recentlyin the 2013 WISE Summit, Mr. Mark Surman the Mozilla Firefox bossmaintained that &quotwe cannot afford to despise the essence of thedigital world we are all living in.&quot Most importantly, we needto master and be able to shape, redesign and manage the future. Digital Literacy has always been defined in different ways. In verysimple terms, digital literacy can be described as the ability ofindividuals to appropriately understand information and utilizedigital tools to enhance, interpret and facilitate the constructionof knowledge and enhance the learning process [ CITATION Goo14 l 1033 ].

Digitalliteracy is not stationary. It is an ongoing process. It entails thelearning of current technologies, embracing new technologies andconsistently keeping up with changes in order to achieve the literacygoals. Most importantly, as time changes to be digitally literate,one has to evolve and ensure the development of new analysis,understanding and discovery techniques to gather and interpretinformation. The emphasis should be based on the informationinterpretation rather than the digital understanding and digitalcompetence. For the 21st century, digital literacy for students isvery vital and quickly enhances graduate capability. The job marketwill need their employees to engage technology in the collection ofdata, analysis of information, interpretation and transfer ofinformation on the digital platform. Therefore, the correctintegration of digital literacy skills to the learning process ofstudents is currently for the betterment of the students’ future.In support to that, currently, most universities have integrateddigital literacy into their curriculum to enhance the capabilities oftheir students. Digital literacy will improve students’employability as currently most recruiting companies engage thesocial media and their websites for career openings [CITATION Gin03 l 1033 ].

Thedigital platform is altering the interaction between students and theoutside world. Technology gives new avenues and opportunities forlearning both in and out of the classroom. Social media, technology,and the internet are no longer things to avoid concerning the dailylives of students. It is, therefore, vital to integrate educationwith these techniques. This will give avenues for sharing ofinformation, networking and communication as they seek new ways tointegrate technology and education. This will provide powerful toolsof trade if ethically used well and correct directions. Caution isstill utilized in that although Internet is a very vital tool,responsible use, internet privacy and safety is important forstudents. (Ministry of Education, 2014) According to common sensemedia, this ever-changing world requires comprehensive understandingand communication skills. This comes together with new sets of codesof conduct to ensure the responsible use of these new technologies [ CITATION Com11 l 1033 ].

Digitallife currently involves the use of digital technology gadgets likemobile phones, computers and Android games amongst others in our dayto day activities. Presently, the youths and the kids use digitalmedia for communication, education, expression of oneself andsocialization. Upcoming novel technology also gives kids better andnewer ways to be digital prowess. Digital literacy programs are nowcritical as media education and learning tools that improve criticalthinking and creativity to students. Most importantly to satisfy theneeds of the 21st century more has to be put in place to educate andbetter digital literacy levels around the world. To better digitalliteracy the mastering of digital skills will be very vital. Digitalliteracy has to be compulsory and not just an arbitrary set ofcompetencies. President Obama has said numerously overtime in manyuniversities that America as a nation cannot manage to equip thestudents of the 21st century with the technology and mindset of the20th century [CITATION Com09 l 1033 ].

Studentshave to be encouraged to engage the web in improving their reading,writing, and creative skills. The internet is currently available foruse with over 3 billion users around the world. Mr. Mark Surman ofMozilla Firefox also stressed that students should be taken away fromtheir usual 9 am to 3 pm classroom studies and be exposed to a ratherdynamic environment to learn anywhere and every time. This wouldensure that the youth embrace the knowledge they need to take part inthe realization of the potentials of the digital world. The currentpolicy makers, the government, and educational institutions shouldalso partner to empower the digital skills for the new generation(Common Sense Media, 2011).

The21st-century research innovations show that most schools are workingoverboard to engage digital literacy to students bearing in mindresponsible communication and safety. Digital literacy could includemore than just adding technology to the curriculum. Severalstrategies employed currently are still putting back the steps neededto have complete digital literacy. Most of the current educators havebeen left out by technology and have less motivation to keep up withthe needs of 21st century. The education system has to be redesignedto not only make digital literacy important but also to make itcompulsory in the education system. New skills need to be taught andbe easily reflected in the system. The use of ICT (InformationCommunication Technology) will be important in making a realizationto create a networked school system that can be controlled by thegovernment, surveillance by the department and monitoring thecontinuation of learning [CITATION ACR13 l 1033 ].

Thestudents are incorporated with new technology that will help improvetheir creativity and understanding of information. Existenttechnologies and applications like Rosetta Stone have contributed tomake education student oriented hence making students take control oftheir studies. The needs of the students in the 21st century requirethem to be self-driven and able to compete in the handling of actualreal tasks using technology and their acquired digital literacyskills [CITATION Dea l 1033 ].

Accordingto Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner in the article ‘No longer aluxury: Digital literacy cannot wait’, Teachers and educators havealways played a big role in the lagging behind of digital literacy. Most of the teachers lag behind in the 20th-century skills. This hasbeen crucial since it even kills students’ motivation on digitalskills. New systems have been put in place by the government toensure teachers are kept up to task with necessary training andmotivation. Teachers need not only training but also motivation andthe needed resources to keep up with the digitalization of education.These resources could include computers, software, programs, fundsand networks to better their skills and abilities [ CITATION tur13 l 1033 ].

Educatorsneed professional development and guidance in the form of workshopsseminars and training to skill them with the much-needed capacity.Social media and even involvement in blogging are ways to keep theteachers updated and more exposed to the internet. According to theNational Writing Project which spearheads the ideology of write sothat you can teach writing, it is suggested that teachers should beteaching what they are very competent and have skills. Hence,teachers should first develop their digital literacy so that they canshare the skills with their students and thus becoming advocates ofdigital literacy [ CITATION tur13 l 1033 ].

Withthe equipment and strengthening of teacher capacity, it would bevital to engage the students with the much-needed skills in the 21stcentury. With increased technology in the world, graduates areexpected to be digitally competent graduates are projected tocollect information analyze data and make a decision all on a digitalplatform and make perfect decisions. Students, therefore, areadvised to engage in social media, the internet, several websites andother learning resources to improve their analytical skills andcreativity [ CITATION Min14 l 1033 ].

Exposureto several applications and programs will boost their interests insoftware understanding and the current world needs. As they aregetting exposed to this more sophisticated technology, the studentsare expected to improve not only their digital skills but also theiranalytical, interpretation and understanding. As the students areexposed to the technology, several vices also come up, and it isimportant to equip the students with safety, privacy and storage ofresources [CITATION Pay10 l 1033 ].

Theother most important group in the handling of digital literacy skillsin the 21st century are the parents. Parents need to be engaged inthe current technology. Many working parents currently are able tosend emails and use relevant technology only at their place of work.For them to be digitally literate, they also need to be engaged inthe social media and understanding of other digital skills [CITATION Pac10 l 1033 ].

The21st-century students are growing up in a digital environment. Theirview is different from those of adults. Digital literacy has becomenecessary just as traditional literacy and understanding of numeric.It is important to center the education system to the needs of thecurrent and future generations. More students are being exposed tothe internet. For the 21st century, the best way for students tolearn is by leveraging new technologies and embracing thecollaboration of Internet for communication and research [CITATION Pac10 l 1033 ].


E-learningis the new way to enhance education. This involves accessinginformation through the internet or local network using relevanttechnological tools. For the betterment of the future, thegovernment, educators and school boards need to support staff todesign newer and flexible learning with digital literacy in mind.This will enable students to use their imagination, creativity, andtechnologies to develop analytical and creative skills that are muchneeded by their future employers.

Studentscan now get Electronic-business skills, internet professional, anduser skills that are very vital in the current world. This can easilybe accessed by embracing digital literacy and integration in schoolsand curriculum. Hence, the nation`s kids can best be educated and getknowledge that serves the needs of the 21st century.


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