Digital Literacy Matters – More Than Ever!

Digital literacy helps us use technology to find, evaluate, use and share information. With physical distancing due to COVID-19, many in-person activities – work, school, family and friends – have moved online. Digital literacy helps us stay informed, connected and safe.

What is digital literacy?

There isn’t a single definition of digital literacy. But most agree that it encompasses a network of related skills. ABC Life Literacy Canada offers this definition: Digital literacy is having the knowledge, skills and confidence to keep up with changes in technology.

Digital literacy involves the skills to access, understand, use, produce and think critically about digital content.  It includes:

  • Technological skills – being able to use hardware and software to find, share and create content
  • Information literacy – being able to evaluate the quality and credibility of online information  and avoid sharing misinformation
  • Cybersecurity and data privacy –being aware of your digital footprint, and being able to protect private information and navigate online safely
  • Lifelong learning – learning about useful new developments in technology

Why is digital literacy important?

Technology is woven into many aspects of modern life. Most of us use technology in some way at work. There is a digital component to many learning opportunities, formal and informal, at all different ages. Shopping, banking and socializing are examples of personal uses of technology. Digital literacy helps support what we do at work, at school, at home and in the community.

COVID-19 has made some online activities a requirement, not just a convenience. Digital literacy supports learning at a distance, working from home, accessing government and health information and services, and staying connected with family and friends while practising physical distancing.

COVID-19 has also underlined how both limited access to technology and low levels of digital literacy create barriers to a variety of activities and services.

Did you know?

Learn more at Media Smarts’ Digital Literacy Fundamentals.

Where can I find help?

If you or someone you know would like to build stronger digital literacy skills, contact the Literacy Outreach Coordinator or literacy organization in your BC community. Use this map to find them.

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