While the term ‘literacy’ alone is typically synonymous with reading and writing skills, placing the word ‘digital’ before it encompasses much more. Digital literacy is the ability to utilize technology and find information, create content, evaluate sources, and communicate effectively. It is a skill set used to navigate the new technological paradigm in which society operates. Many digital literacy skills that used to be considered noteworthy are now seen as necessary or standard skills.
However, being digitally literate goes beyond being able to use technology. Instead, it is the ability to function critically and effectively in a digitally-enhanced environment, whether the context is your social life, learning life, or working life. This means that you use technology critically, thoughtfully and responsibly, recognizing the variety of skills developed across all situations and platforms. Most importantly, digital literacy revolves around being able to behave professionally, respectfully and with a deep understanding of different digital environments.
In a world that is so connected, children, teenagers and the youth are more exposed to technology. Experts are predicting that 90 per cent of the entire population will be connected to the internet within ten years. Therefore, teaching them digital literacy at an early age can prepare them to enter adulthood and emerge successful in their careers, forming excellent digital citizens. Good digital literacy has a beneficial impact on the personal development of teenagers as it strengthens both cognitive and technical skills. Additionally, as learning environments come to integrate more sophisticated technology, primarily in the case of online learning, students need to know how to access information. With digital skills, these children can learn, keep up with peers, participate, and advance to more complex topics at ease.
In Bangladesh, short video platform Likee has been contributing to education and for cultivation of digital literacy among young people. For instance, Likee recently collaborated with 10 Minute School to bring the creators of the digital education industry to the app. The creators then shared creative, fun and informative video content among young people to foster digital literacy. Throughout the years, Likee has initiated several other unique collaborations and programs to enhance digital literacy among the youth of this country. The short video platform believes that working together with the parents, industry and the youth will gradually provide better digital literacy. Similar to Likee, many platforms, organisations and companies have started taking necessary initiatives to expand digital literacy among everyone, including the young generation.
Today we live in a world where technology is redefining how we receive and communicate information. In this tech-driven world, digital literacy remains an essential building block to a strong technological skill set. With persistent efforts from all stakeholders, people all throughout the country will be able to attain good digital literacy skills to take advantage of communicating efficiently and effectively to achieve greater goals.
* Gibson Yuen is the head of Likee Global Operations.