Reflection on Digital Literacy – so what do I know?

I have been teaching IT to adults for over fifteen years.  I love the ever changing nature of the work.  In some ways the same and yet different.  The digital literacy of the general population is slowly rising.  Rare is the true novice.  With the multitude of devices most people have found a use for at least one type of technology.

In the late 1990’s most were coming to terms with desktop computers.  Already in offices used for administrative and financial tasks the working population had to adapt fast to acquire the new necessary skills.  Desktop computers became common in schools.  Often the pupils knew more than the teachers.  At this time learning particular packages such as Microsoft Office were the main outcomes of IT learning.

Slowly over the years with the development of laptops, smartphones and tablets the skills needed become more generic.  The constantly, usually yearly, changing software means less learning by rote and a more deep learning of transferable skills so that tasks can be carried out with ease across any device using any software present.  This is what I think comprises being digitally literate.

The device and software are tools and as such no matter that the interface commands are buttons or menus; are different colours or in different locations an operator should easily understand key concepts and be able to produce the desired end result. Any minor issues should be looked up and answers found.

Over the years I have been constantly taking myself forward.  I love the new skills and challenges of solving problems.  I have constantly had an action plan driven by reading news articles and more recently blogs from highly regards bodies such as the BBC, The Guardian and specialist digital sources such as Google, Microsoft, Web Design Ledger etc. As part of Learning Pembrokeshire with a yearly course review we are constantly looking to new trends to offer up to the mark courses and a as tutor I have relished learning the new skills required and writing courses for our learners.

In regard to my own digital literacy I have had the pleasure of developing my skills over the last fifteen years.  I am still asked questions by my children.  Both highly digitally literate themselves. For me the most important aspects of being digitally literate are knowing where and how to look for answers to problems and investing time to discover and embrace change and developments.