Increasingly, technology skills are critical to success in almost every arena, and those who are more facile with technology will advance while those without access or skills will not.*
Communications Division faculty are actively exploring the development of its curriculum to help students become digitally literate. We understand that the academic and work worlds of the 21st century will demand that students have technological skill sets that bridge multiple traditional forms of communication. These skill sets go beyond merely knowing how to use a personal computer, search engines, or a cell phone. They are the basis for digital literacy.
Digital literacy is the ability to
- coordinate multiple, (and often simultaneous) modes of communication;
- use critical thinking to acquire, filter, and organize information;
- engage with a wide range of social networks to amplify and extend the reach of communications;
- ensure the safety, security, and privacy of personally identifiable information and other sensitive data; and
- re-use and re-combine data and technologies to create meaning and predict outcomes.
Those who are digitally literate will succeed in making the transition from the current BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in the personalization of technology to a world of ubiquitous computing that is fast approaching. In that world, the notion that technology is merely a means to an end will melt away into the "web of things." Those students who are digitally literate will be the ones best qualified to address the challenges and the opportunities that are expected to arise in the augmented reality of the 21st century.
*Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report:
2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.