Monday, May 23, 2011

Fostering Critical Thinking Through Digital Literacy

Fostering Critical Thinking throughout Digital Literacy.

The rapid growth of technology has obviously changed the way human beings work, communicate, interact, and visualize life. In other words, every facet of people´s lives may be influenced by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). From sending a message using a mobile phone until socializing throughout an Avatar, children, teenagers and adults utilize digital technology everywhere.

In this framework, the 21st century society is demanding new professional competences, no matter what the area of expertise is. In fact, some international authorities such as UNESCO (2011), European Computer Driving License Foundation (ECDL) (2011), Tuning Project in Europe and Latin America (2007), among others, have agreed on the importance of fostering digital literacy skills for economic, societal and educational development, mostly based on the critical understanding of using technology (Freire, 2004).

To enlighten us on this issue, it would be relevant to mention that there has been a flood of terms used synonymously to refer to digital literacy: ICT Literacy (Educational Testing Service, 2002), ICT Fluency (NRC, 1999), Computer Literacy (Williams, 2003), among others. However, no matter how many perspectives digital literacy conveys, what really matters is to what extent digital native or immigrants are responsible users of online technology.

Digital Literacy as simply the knowledge and skills required to participate in online activities (ECDL, 2011) is reductionist to the degree that the now digital citizen not only read, write, and communicate using digital technology, but also think and consider critically cultural, political, and educational values associated with those activities. Nowadays, digital literates need a much broader approach to literacy in the digital age (Thompson,2007), as a result there is already a point of departure Safer Internet Day (ECDL, 2011).

No comments:

Post a Comment