I have always found fascinating how by means of online platforms one can be connected with classmates, coworkers and friends in a virtual-social-professional context. At the beginning of 2008 when I got to know about Facebook, only some of my friends had an account, now almost everybody I know has a Facebook account. Even people I haven’t seen for a long time or rather old parents that one could have imagined that they were going to be connected someday has one. I always wonder though how people that has not grown with Facebook or are digitally ‘illiterate’ manage to keep a regular online activity, or if Facebook or other interactive platforms has also become part of their daily lives, as it has for most of us. In some cases that I know, for example my own mother, she has a Facebook account which was created by my sister. In my mother’s case, my sister stands as an ‘administrator’ of her account, and directs her when she needs to reply to a comment or to ‘like’ a picture that was uploaded by another relative. As in this case described, I think it is common that the a younger, digitally-literate person, creates and administers a social platform account such as Facebook, before the illiterate just forgotten about his/her account.
Professionally, having an online presence has been also very important. Sharing profiles and update my work status and ongoing research on open networks such as LinkedIn or Researchgate, has been great platforms to get noticed and to advance professionally. It is however challenging to keep up with all current online platforms, for the most part is a professional interest nowadays that keep me connected rather than social reasons. As for Twitter, I could never get the hang out of it and I have always felt lazy to learn. I found that I have enough with the other online professional or online platforms for the moments, even though I think I might be missing an addictive and important online platform.
I have found a very interesting online article about the importance of being digitally-literate: https://rossieronline.usc.edu/blog/teacher-digital-literacy/
In this article by the University of Southern California, 7 main points are covered about the importance of being digitally literate. In the first point, it is stated that being digitally literate does not necessarily mean to achieve being a pro in every app or software out there, but to be able to know how to use a software that will help you do a required assignment. The second point touches upon being a good digital citizen. This means that it is our responsibility, once we are digitally-literate, to find the best use of the information put on the internet, including to avoid academic plagiarism and cyberbullying. Another important aspect touched upon in this article and that has been of great benefit for my own digital literacy is about the importance of inspiring students to take the most of the technology in order to develop their learning capabilities.
In this digitally oriented world that we are living, many aspects of our own literacy emerges as important, as we need to find out by ourselves how to take the best out of technology for the benefit of our own students and social peers.