LIDA101 Digital literacies and why they're important for you

Doug Belshaw says we should talk about digital literacies (plural) and that they depend heavily on context and are socially negotiated.

Please share with the group:

  1. One digital literacy you have acquired and use regularly in your own context. Summarise your context and suggest why this is a literacy rather than a digital skill.
  2. Share one digital literacy you would like to acquire or improve to support your learning. Why is this literacy important for you?
  3. Optional - do you think there is a difference between digital literacies used in personal life when compared to formal learning or the work environment?

Remember that digital literacies are context dependent and socially negotiated - so there are no wrong or right answers. The ones which are important for you are determined by your own context.


  1. Read a few responses. If you see a particularly thoughtful post remember to like the post by clicking on the heart
  2. Please respond to at least one or two posts in this topic and remember to include the @username in your post so you can earn the first mention badge.
  3. If you would like to respond to a specific sentence posted by a participant, highlight the sentence and click on quote so you can earn your First Quote badge.

I would not be able to execute my roles at the OER Foundation without a wide range of digital literacies spanning multiple open source cloud based technologies. A key component of my work focuses on finding new and interesting ways to support learning in a digital age with emerging technologies and as such this is more than a skill because we need to consider how these technologies can enable and support learning.

What is interesting is the fact that even though I have a terminal degree, I have received no formal training in the majority of skills and literacies that are pre-requisite for my work at the OERu associated with learning in a digital age. I have adopted a learn-by-doing approach to build the competencies for working effectively in a digital world.


@nadaelgarhy @mackiwg
I have never been aware of the term digital literacy until recently. I found out that it is about the purpose of using certain technologies, which I became aware when I was working on a research paper about creative learning methods and theories. The digital literacy I have acquired then and still use constantly is different online library resources and social media discussions tools such as Twitter, etc. Then it is also when I have learned how I can separate those online digital skills and tools for my personal life and for the purpose of my career and learning.


Digital literacy matters to me because it focuses on the rules and tactics of technology, therefore, it helps the individual to enhance and develop a better understanding of the technologically developed world.


As i have previously mentioned in my reflection, i didn’t know know that the term digital literacy existed, i only knew that one could have digital skills and that’s it. So it made mw wonder how many people were on the same page like me. And that is why i think that digital literacy is important as it makes you able to use your skills to become a part of a much wider public digital domain where you could communicate, collaborate, innovate and inspire others.



Greetings from New Zealand! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on social networking platforms on the OERu forums. Indeed, selecting appropriate social networks for learning, career and personal purposes is a significant element of digital citizenship.

Enjoy your course!


Hi @nayera_khairat

I agree - I have spent the majority of my career working in ICTs for development. In fact, I think digital technologies will become a powerful enabler for achieving the sustainable development goals - especially if we use open tools so that indigenous communities retain control and ownership of their own destiny rather than the dictates of the corporate industrialised world. For these reasons it’s important that everyone builds capacity in digital literacies.

Enjoy your learning in the open online world!


Hi @JanaKhalifa

Well said! I think that its imperative that we engage in a digital world especially when we can cooperate on a global scale for the benefit of all. Digital literacy is a prerequisite for this engagement.

Enjoy the course!


@nayera_khairat I like that you talk about rules and tactics — digital skills and literacies enable us to play, participate, and achieve our dreams and goals.

  1. The ability to find credible information and learning resources online has helped me to live a happy personal life and to continuously upskill and navigate the ever-changing world of work. The way that I have done this has changed over time in terms of “digital skills” required, for example, I have had to learn to use different browsers over the past 20 years, the functions and features have changed and the amount of information to search through has exploded. I’ve had to learn to use social media platforms and to find experts via these, learn about hashtagging, learn various operating systems, and more. 2. I would like to continue to develop my critical thinking about the digital content that I create and consume. 3. Undecided.

Has social media helped or hindered the ability to find credible and reliable resources? I’m thinking here specifically about the fake news phenomenon which has permeated a number of social media platforms.


That’s a great question. I have found that by searching topical hashtags like #OpenData or #DigLit that I have been able to find a lot of credible professionals and resources—but then I do see lots of fake news and misinformation too on all social media platforms. So I think, I am exposed to a lot of misinformation each time I use social media — but if I do a critical search and review of results then I can find great info.


@CitizenModerna Likewise - I have found extremely valuable and credible resources via social media in my line of work. Even when assembling the LiDA micro-courses, I was able to source a number of interesting sources which would not have been identified easily through traditional search approaches. I guess the real challenge is to develop the critical skills of discernment to know what is credible and reliable, and to know what I’m looking for.


I agree. And that also takes time just like finding the best books or journals did when I did my undergraduate degree.

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In 1997, I self-learnt to operate a desktop computer when I was assigned the function of coordinating a Wide Area Network project :slight_smile: Thereafter computers have become an essential aid for meeting my professional and personal requirements. Now for leading another big web-based HR project, knowledge and skills in managing smartphone based communications have become inevitable. In my experience, for personal and professional needs, the basic digital literacies you need to acquire are the same.


@nayera_khairat you are right! I like the way digital literacy focuses on rules teaching us how to behave…that makes the internet more civilized

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Hi JanaKhalifa,
Digital literacy also allows one to learn how to adapt and use emerging technologies easily. The younger generations today can figure out how to use technology without help because they are digitally literate. The challenge for education is how to get teachers to become digital teachers so that they can facilitate learning for the young generations of learners.


@CitizenModerna @mackiwg I totally agree with you. It is crucial to develop the critical skills.

In addition to critical skills, we can also use some great resources to navigate fraud on social media. For example if we talk about spotting fake news there are some tips:
-Check the url of the story
-If someone is quoted, google the quote.
-Reverse search the questionable image on google to know where it came from.
-Use these tools: factcheck. org, snopes. com, https :// www.hoax-slayer. net/

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Hi @angelicamartinez

I see you have mastered the “Quote” feature on :grinning:.

Good advice on fact-checking - thanks for sharing.

Of interest, in one of the upcoming courses for Learning in a Digital Age, specifically LiDA104 on Critical Media Literacies we explore fact checking in more detail. Hope you’ll join us for that micro-course.

@mackiwg Good to read that! I will definitely join the micro-course! :grinning::woman_technologist: