Exploring Digital Literacies

If I were to conduct my own definition for digital literacies, it would be having the knowledge to communicate and achieve your learning goals (digital skills) through exposure to digital technologies knowing when and why to use specific tools (digital fluency)…. Through this definition it is obvious that digital literacies, digital skills, and digital fluency are kind of related where they all complement each other but somehow they are still different in meanings. To be able to expose yourself to digital tools (the definition of digital literacy stated on internet), you have to first learn how to effectively use them using both cognitive and technical skills which is the internet definition of digital skills. Those digital skills will allow you to navigate the social media safely in order to protect your private content to be safe and make you able to track information from reasonable sources to pick the right terms when doing a google search for example. Being effective is not enough because you need to know where and how to find and access to info quickly and accurately to reach your desired outcome (the when and why which is the definition of digital fluency on the internet).

Although wikipedia’s definition of digital literacy is very long, yet I believe it is still not enough and a bit vague as it didn’t state the relation between digital literacies, skills and fluency. Also, I believe digital literacy is not about the ability to find evaluate and communicate clear information as stated but rather it is about the proficiency and proactivity on how to embed digital technologies to find, evaluate, produce and communicate clear information. Dr. Maha Bali’s further explained it in an easy way showing that students should learn digital skills first and then digital literacies where finally they can learn digital fluency to master their techniques where they should never learn them in parallel. She also illustrates that students should first listen and act critically where they cannot act without listening in the first place similarly to how you should be taught digital literacies in my own view.

In my view, the most important elements in digital literacies from my own Egyptian personal context are to be cultural, communicative and critical. People need to pay attention to which the literacies are situated where some countries cannot and should not have access to certain literacies. Communicative is another important element where literacies need to be effectively communicated to reach the target audience in the right form and meaning. Finally, literacies should be critical where people need the technology we are using to avoid using to match our preferences and culture.

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As expected, my digital confidence profile revealed that all my results were in the competent level which actually represents how I see myself. Although my capabilities using digital literacies are very basic but I am proud of knowing the basic needs to secure my password and identity on any social media account as I believe that the identity and the well-being are crucial in everyone’s life to keep yourself safe and avoid any hackers from intruding your private life. I’ve always been passionate about creating and innovating but never actually got the chance to learn any of the editing tools, software packages or platforms (weather they are video editing, photo editing or anything related to multimedia) which I hope to learn/develop in this course.

Due to the fact of realizing the importance of the online security I chose to surf more on this station (Secure online) where I got to learn that passwords chosen for our social media accounts should be long enough but yet sufficiently unique. Moreover, I learned that we should minimize the risk of secure socket layer (SSL), hashing and salting through only typing our passwords through websites that contain https in their URL where they encrypt your password. We should also avoid using servers that store passwords in a plain form to avoid hashing and finally we should avoid salting by adding a random value to plain text passwords.

I chose another related topic which is “Online Identity” in order to know how to protect myself and others more on social media apart from the passwords part. I found very basic steps that most of them I already know… The first step is to think before posting anything on the social media while asking yourself several times weather you want your post to be seen publically be every one or only seen by a small number of people that you choose. The second step is to definitely show respect to others when commenting on their posts and never criticize them in a harsh way. One thing that I wasn’t aware of is that most cameras store information about the info of the photo; where it is taken and the time where hackers can access and reach you thus I realized how important it is to consider this side. Finally, we should be skeptical about all the images and news we see posted because they can easily be manipulated.










2 thoughts on “Exploring Digital Literacies

  1. What came to my mind when I wrote that line is that some people with a specific social class and educational level cannot have access to digital literacies or even digital technologies at all (such as rural countries for example) where their financial and educational capabilities wouldn’t enable them to gain that access. Those people in my opinion would rather have other priorities to improve their education or perhaps complete it rather than having access to any sort of digital literacies. Another thing that came to my mind is that not all people at all ages should have access to digital literacies especially young children who still need to be taught that social abnormal norms (like bullying for example) apply to online behaviors.


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