What is Digital Literacy? | Meaning & Examples

Learning updated on  February 22, 2024 3 min read

Digital literacy is the ability to understand and communicate information online. It is a blend of technological and cognitive abilities.

Why is digital literacy important?

There is a lot of information online, and not all of it is true. In this day and age, it's easy for anyone to write anything online. A large part of digital literacy is being able to figure out what is true and what is false on the internet.

Even simpler, being digitally literate means being able to use information and communication technologies correctly. This includes computers, cell phones, video calls, and social media platforms. Digital literacy involves having a current knowledge and understanding of digital tools and the digital content that you find by using them.

Digital literacy examples

While the digital landscape is always changing, there are a number of things you can learn to ensure you have a strong baseline for being digitally literate.

Basic digital literacy skills:

  • Turn on devices such as smartphones and laptops
  • Make a call and send a text message using a smartphone
  • Navigate to a browser and perform a search using Google or another search engine
  • Send and receive emails
  • Research a source of information (news article, social media post, etc)

More advanced digital literacy skills:

  • Turn on and use two-factor authentication
  • Understand when you can and cannot share information and what kind of information you can and cannot share online
  • Understand how social media works in regards to friends, followers, share settings, and algorithms
  • Convert files (e.g., Word document to PDF)
  • Safely utilize sharing technologies (WiFi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, etc)

Digital literacy and QuillBot

QuillBot's tools are easy to use; writers can simply start typing to use QuillBot. There are no downloads, confusing buttons, or jargon that nobody understands. The internet might be a mysterious, convoluted place, but QuillBot will always be simple to use.

QuillBot has an in-built digital research section, not to mention a Plagiarism Checker and Citation Generator. If you can't find a source for a piece of information, there's a good chance it's not true. If your content is being flagged for existing content/information, check to see where your quotes are coming from. Is the website reliable? Can you find confirmation of this information elsewhere online? What is the general consensus among the public?

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It’s important to ensure that all of your content falls into two categories: original content that you’ve created and properly cited content that you’re attributing to its original source. This way, you will avoid committing accidental plagiarism.

Understanding and utilizing digital technologies in this day and age is imperative for successful communication. You must be able to use your mobile devices correctly and share general knowledge with others.

With so much false information floating around various digital platforms, being digitally literate is more important than ever.

How do we define digital literacy?

To put it simply, digital literacy is the ability to navigate and understand information found online. If someone is digitally literate, they are able to discern what is real and what is fake online, they are able to successfully use technology, and they are able to communicate effectively via digital platforms.

What are digital literacy skills?

Some digital literacy skills include the following:

  • The ability to use technology
  • The ability to communicate via text, videochat, social media, and other online platforms
  • Taking the proper online safety precautions
  • Understanding what is real vs what is fake online

How is digital literacy used in education?

With the advent of online schooling, digital literacy has become more important than ever in the education system. It is used for the following purposes:

  • Teachers can communicate with their students outside of the classroom
  • Students can ask questions outside of the classroom
  • Students must be able to discern which sources are reliable and which aren’t when writing papers and completing projects
  • Teachers must integrate technology into presentations and lessons

Paige Pfeifer

Along with Mitchell Allen

Paige teaches QuillBot writers about grammar rules and writing conventions. She has a BA in English, which she received by reading and writing a lot of fiction. That is all she knows how to do.

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