Monday, June 13, 2011

WEEK 1: Digital literacy

WEEK 1: Digital literacy

According to Alkalai (2004), "Digital Literacy involves more than the mere ability to use software of complex cognitive motor, sociological, and emotional skills, which users need in order to function effectively in digital environment." What Alkalai means to say in this quote is that Internet users must educate themselves in order to use any kind of web tools in a proper way. Web tools are not just tools for entertainment or fun. They can be very helpful in our daily jobs if we learn to use them in an effective way. For that, it is important to know every detail about them.
How can we know every detail about web tools? How do we learn to use them appropriately? First of all, it is necessary to be opened to learn new things and not get scared with technology. Technology is almost always showed to us in a friendly way that helps us to get things done faster and betters, that is to say, work more efficiently. Second, it is also important to have the necessary equipment and the time to use any web tools. It is going to be very difficult to know how to use, for example, glogs and wikis if we do not have access to a good computer and fast Internet connection.

Moreover, technology has affected education in many ways. It is very common to see students who are more connected with technology (native generation) than the same teachers (immigrants generation). Normally, teachers use technology in class. Some of them use the basic ones such as a CD player, CD and video beams. And others use more advanced tools such as smart boards, laptops with Internet connection, etc. I think that the most important thing is to avoid getting divorced with technology. If we get divorced with them, we may also get divorced from our students. The main goal about digital literacy is to get connected to technology and learn more and more about it.


Alkalai, E (2004). Digital Literacy: A Conceptual Framework for Survival Skills in the Digital Era. Journal Article.


  1. Having read a little about the subject, I can say that digital literacy does not only involve sittinig in front of a computer and having the ability to manage different functions of the machine, or googling for information presented in the text format. That would be a very limited conception of what digital literacy comprisses. As Lanham (1995) states it encompasses interacting and comprehending different kinds of digital sources in which information is conveyed and received in many forms: from text, images, to sounds and even smells.
    Gilster (1997) also suggests that people is considered digitally literate if they possess four abilities, the ones he calls core competences, which are internet searching, hypertext navigation, knowledge assembly and content evaluation. I think that developing those abilities requires is not an easy task and requires being hours and hours of our lives in front of a computer.
    For us teachers and researchers being digitally literate should be more than a requirement, rather a natural skill, given the characteristics of the society we live now in which we are bombarded and surrounded by technology, in which our students are digital natives. This is the only way for us to survive in the teaching field and catch up with the our students’ needs.

  2. Dear Adenis,
    I agree with you. We have to be connected with technology because it is already here to make our lives easier and help us do things faster, better and more efficiently. For this reason, it is a must for any 21st century English teacher to be involved with the tech advances and find the best way to use them in the classroom. It doesn't matter if we are digital natives or inmigrants, what really matters is our willingness to learn and how creative we are.
    Evelyn Izquierdo