There is a huge divide when it comes to the Internet. There are two groups of people, one who is in support of using it to further the human endeavor to excel academically, and the other group that is hesitant when it comes to using the internet. This divide has inspired numerous studies, each delving into the depth of what causes this divide.
But instead of diving into those lengthy researches, we can point out a single fact that plays a vital role in this debate, the ease of usage. A significant portion of the adult population is not comfortable using the internet to study and the reason is digital literacy, rather the lack of it. And that is what we want to talk about in this article, the need to enhance digital literacy for effective online education.
Digital literacy opens the door to vast resources
There is an almost unlimited number of books available on the internet. If you are a college student then you must have access to your library, thousands of books at your command. Imagine having that kind of power right from the comfort of your home. Any book that you want, any academic discipline that you want to pursue, everything is available online. Digital literacy will bring those resources closer to you, from cross-referencing your research to accessing theory books, everything gets easier. This is why it is important to spread digital literacy, lest the fear of apprehension keep you from success.
It ensures education to everyone everywhere
As the world around us changes, we are witnessing more and more unique faces in education. As opposed to the years of the 20th century, even working men and women are stepping up to advance their education. Students from diverse backgrounds are seeking knowledge. Working or freshmen they have a thirst for knowledge which they can now quench in the limited time they get from their schedules. As we develop as a civilization, the focus is increasingly on making resources available to people as and when they need them. Digital literacy is not simply desirous but necessary in order to achieve that. The digital revolution in education is aimed at making education more inclusive and agile.
Discussion, debates, and a healthy exchange of ideas are all concepts that are vital to a well-rounded education. Witnessing the changing situation of the world, the lockdown, and the pandemic, meeting people and discussing as a group is getting more and more difficult (in some places, dangerous). Student forums, places where you can post your queries and get answers, are becoming popular. But not having knowledge or not being comfortable online can limit your reach. Digital literacy is not only about knowing how and where to locate resources but is also about the ease of function and access.
Digital literacy aids in modern workplaces too
Creating a collaborative atmosphere is important in workplaces. Creating new, innovative ideas is also important. And technology is an indispensable tool in both settings. The problem that students, on becoming working men/women, face is that they have lived with limited interaction with technology during their formative years and the cutting edge setup of the workplace makes them feel obsolete. Digital literacy is not a challenge but a responsibility that needs to be shouldered in the learning years. Technology is not something that one can avoid, sooner or later you are going to come up against a situation, scenario, condition, which requires certain technical mastery from your side. And coming up short on that day would mean a great setback.
Safety and security
Last but not the least; digital literacy is also about knowing how to keep yourself safe online. It is true that there are a lot of opportunities and resources available online but simultaneously, there are also a lot of threats that can cause harrowing experiences. All this is not meant to scare you away but rather to reinforce the importance of digital literacy. Online safety and knowing what to do in case of a breach in it is necessary for anyone who wants to make use of online resources. However, this is not a difficult task anymore. Universities that offer online courses pay special attention to securing their channels from unwarranted influences.
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