May 19, 2014

Digital Literacy

Digital technology is here to stay and all around the planet. The idea is that everybody could have access to it, but unfortunately the opportunities for all who need it are not precisely the same. It has to do with developed and developing countries. The whole world cannot go smoothly altogether at the same pace. There are many differences (geographical, political, religious) in all regions of the world. Each country manages on its own to abide by the UNESCO’s project “ICT Competency Standards for Teachers”. I wonder if the free distribution of millions of small laptops “canaimitas” to children in state elementary schools in Venezuela by the government is a sort of political decision to go in pro of Digital literacy. Teachers and students in Venezuela, generally speaking, do not have the digital competencies established by Unesco to live and work in the XXI Century. There is still a digital divide not only worldwide but in Venezuela as well. There’s still a great majority of Venezuelan professionals and students who cannot have access to Internet in their homes because they don’t even have the pre-requisite, which is a Cantv phone line.

Regarding the concept of digital literacy, we can say that it refers to finding, assessing, using, sharing, and creating content with information technologies and the Internet. Activities include writing papers, creating multimedia presentations, and posting information about yourself or others online. All of these activities require varying degrees of digital literacy. But it is not enough to know how to do these things. There’s more to it than that. I mean, digital literacy also implies becoming familiar with some important issues, such as, copyrights, privacy and the internet, and plagiarism. You need to legally protect what you produce on the web, you also need privacy and, and, ethically speaking, you are expected not to present the works of others as yours, which is considered plagiarism. Nevertheless, plagiarism is often only an academic violation, not a copyright infringement. Plagiarism in the classroom will surely lead you to academic discipline such as a failing grade in an assignment or a class.



  1. Hello Ricardo! I agree with you, plagiarism is a very important and delicate topic that we all should be aware of, specially nowadays and in the digital environment.

  2. Hello Ricardo, it's very important what you say about copyright and plagiarism. However, considering that the title of your entry is Digital Literacy, you seem to wander outside the boundaries. Even though plagiurism is closely related to digital literacy, and you can always mention it as something to consider, what worries me is the fact that the entry is devoted about 60% to copyright and plagiarism and only about 40% in what it is supposed to be your aim: digital literacy as a concept and its relation to ELT. Now, it would be really interesting an entry about Plagiurism and copyright as an important factor to consider when preparing our students to use information technologies properly :)