What is digital literacy and how is it associated with digital responsibility?

Digital literacy involves reading, writing and understanding things using technology and the internet.

Created On: Sep 6, 2017 16:12 IST
Modified On: Oct 11, 2017 12:49 IST
What is digital literacy and how is it associated with digital responsibility?
What is digital literacy and how is it associated with digital responsibility?

At the core of things, the definition of digital literacy is similar to conventional meaning of literacy as it involves reading, writing and understanding things. However, as the name suggests, digital literacy involves doing all those things using technology and the internet. There are limitations to the extent to which paper and written word can be circulated but the content on the internet has no such boundaries. Another difference is the format and variety of content. From writing a blog to making a video or uploading a voice message, everything is possible on the internet.

The amount of time that the urban youth spends on the internet is incredible and so it only makes sense for teachers to make it a tool for better education. Teachers play a huge role in making students acquainted with the benefits of internet and aligning their activities online in a manner that helps them the most.

To make sure that students utilize their time online, teachers also need to realize the importance of internet. The first step in this direction can be opening up of digital libraries for students where they can access book by using a login id and password. Unlike the actual libraries, this online space does not have time restrictions and the students can use the facilities and information whenever and wherever they want. As far as searching for things on the internet is concerned, many students do not even know the appropriate way to do it. They should be told how to look up for things using proper keywords so that they do not get lost in the pool of information.

Another major part of a young person's life is social media. With almost everyone using platforms like Facebook these days, online stalking has increased considerably. What students need to be told is that they should spend more time consuming relevant information rather than seeing someone else's activities on Facebook. This stands true for almost every social media site. You can choose what you want to take from it because there is a variety of information out there.

There is another major contribution that social media sites make. They make people more tolerant and inclusive. Everyone has a right to express their opinion on social media and all you can do is learn your lessons either from their wisdom or their mistakes. When they say something which you do not agree with, it opens a chain of dialogue between you two and it leads to a meaningful discussion which contributes towards change of perspective, for good.

Having discussed the role and nature of digital literacy, let us now look at the digital rights and responsibilities of people.

Digital rights can be largely divided into following categories:

  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to credit for personal works
  • Right to digital access
  • Right to our identity

Whereas, digital responsibilities of the people are:

  • Responsibility to report bullying, harassing, or identity theft
  • Responsibility to cite works used for resources and researching
  • Responsibility to download music, videos, and other material legally
  • Responsibility to model and teach student expectations of technology use
  • Responsibility to keep data/information safe from hackers
  • Responsibility not to falsify our identity in any way

It is important that a student knows and fully understands both of these.

While enjoying their rights, it is important that they do not forget about the responsibilities that come associated with them. While using the internet we do a lot of casual writing in the form of statuses etc.. Here it is important to give proper credits to the person who you are quoting in order to maintain the credibility. Another common practice among the internet users is to download things illegally. This includes pirated movies etc which are not uploaded by the makers on official platforms. The producers of the content suffer from great monetary losses due to such activities and hence it becomes an important responsibility to buy tickets and watch the movies in the hall or otherwise consume the content on the sites they've collaborated with.


This was the basic information about digital literacy, rights and responsibilities which all college students should be acquainted with.

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