TRADITIONALLY, "the word "literacy" is used to refer to the ability to read and write. Today, it is often used to refer to reading and writing at a level adequate for communication. The opposite (or antonym) to literacy is illiteracy, the inability to read or write.
Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to. Participate fully in the wider society", Today, global literacy statistics paint a gloomy picture, with one in every five people on the planet being illiterate, with either no or just basic reading skills, two. Thirds of this population are said to be women.
With the advent of the information revolution, the -meaning of literacy has changed and has assumed new meanings. We've seen a change-in the concept from "literacy" to concepts such as information Literacy, multimedia literacy; and digital - i literacy, a term generally I used to refer to an, individual's ability to function effectively in a digital environment. It has been defined as the ability to use digital technology, communications tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information
Gilster and his colleague regardit.as a special kind of mindset that enables users to perform intuitively in digital environments and to easily and effectively access the wide range of knowledge embedded in these environments.
Eshet-Alkalai views the term as a multidimensional construct comprising five types' of-literacy skills: (a) photo-visual literacy; (b) re production literacy; (c) information literacy; (d) branching literacy; and (e) socio- emotional literacy. Digital literacy seeks to assess the computer literacy level of people and the extent to which the computer skills acquired could be used in addressing fundamental challenges of daily living. Digital literacy builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy by marrying of the two terms digital and literacy; however, it goes beyond the combination of two terms by exploring a wide variety of topics, including how people find, use, summarize, evaluate, create, and communicate information while using digital technologies. Experts in the field consider it as a key aspect of contemporary citizenship to enable individuals to fully participate in the digital economy, the democratic process, and the network society.
Concepts such as "digital natives" and "digital immigrants" have emerged out of this trend.
For example, a digital immigrant adapts to technology and communicates with technology differently than digital natives who grow up with these tools. This has, implications on how the two categories adapt to technology. Prensky alludes to this when he rent arks that today's students are "a population that speaks' an entirely new language than the people who educate them" A similar analogy is made by
Today, digital literacy is increasingly becoming synonymous with computer and Internet knowledge. This medium has provided a new meaning to digital literacy. Computers and access to Internet connectivity provide information that can quickly be transmitted and shared. The use of such modem day tools have changed many facets of the human life, from education, health care, industry, economy, politics, governance, to entertainment. This technological revolution brought about by the use "of computers and other forms of information systems has entered a new and dynamic phase that is now beginning to alter our institutions in ways that are unprecedented in the history of humanity. Today, we speak of a knowledge economy, a digital economy, knowledge workers, and knowledge societies. Given these developments) it will be difficult without digital literacy skills to function in today's world.
And, the wide use of social media tools such as
Source: Ghanaian Times
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