Digital Literacy: A Review of Literature

Digital Literacy: A Review of Literature

Pritika Reddy (Fiji National University, Fiji), Bibhya Sharma (USP, Fiji) and Kaylash Chaudhary (USP, Fiji)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/IJT.20200701.oa1
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Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICT) along with the internet have fueled advancements and growth in banking, transportation, economics, and most of all in education in the 21st century. The 21st century citizens are provided with new opportunities that have been created with the advancement of ICT. Hence, individuals need a wide range of abilities, competencies, and skills to adapt to the technological era. This paper provides a literature review of the growing importance of ICT, its wide array of usage, and its influence on various facets of people's daily lives. In addition, the emerging concept of digital literacy through ICT developments, contribution of digital literacy towards the achievement of sustainable development goals, contribution of ICT towards the development of various sectors particularly the education sector, and the work done in this area of digital literacy are summarised. The paper concludes with three new models of digital literacy: four gear model, model for flexible learning, and a model showing the impact of ICT on the learning process.
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Introduction

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has undergone a significant transformation which has changed the way it is defined in the 21st Century. The term ICT can now be defined as the use of digital technologies to generate, distribute, collect and administer information and communicate in real-time (instant messaging, voice over IP (VOIP) and video conferencing) (techterms, 2018; Sarkar, 2012). ICT has become an integral part and an acceptable norm of our livelihood, mainly due to the fact that these modern technologies are playing an important role in improving the quality of living.

Although ICT has been responsible for digital divide from the beginning of 1990 (Sarkar, 2012), it has stimulated educational growth and variablilty, provided new opportunites in developing countries, introduced digital libraries and created new dynamics in research (Sharma, et al., 2019). Sarkar (2012) mentioned that ICT could play an important role in skills development and this concept has also been mentioned in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). The ICT4D refers to the use of ICT for international development, particularly reframing the poor by providing new opportunities for working (Walsham, 2017; Andersson & Hatakka, 2013; Heeks, 2008). According to researchers, ICT has made potential contributions in the fields of banking, health, education, transportation, poverty alleviation programmes and e-governance (Reddy et al., 2020;Nand & Sharma, 2019; Sharma et al., 2019; Reddy at al., 2017;Pojani & Stead, 2015; Sharma et al., 2015; UNDP, 2008).

From the fields mentioned above, major discussions in this paper revolve around the transformations in the education sector because of new technologies and their adoption and adaptation that have has changed the entire education paradigm.According to (Tondeur et al., 2017; Kurtz & Peled, 2016; Perdana et al., 2016) education plays a vital role in any countries development; therefore, this paper reflects on how education has transformed through the inclusion, leaverage and integration of ICT. The development of other sectors through ICT is also discussed in this paper.

ICT and the plethora of developments through ICT have led to a new revolution – the Digital Revolution, which has re-engineered societies and hence reshaped how one lives in them (Lopez, 2009). New concepts and ideologies like e-permeated society (digital society) and digital tools and technologies like mobile devices, computer-aided manufacturing tools, communication tools, smart learning cities etc. have emerged. The literature suggests that the rapid and continuous growth in the digital technology requires individuals to have the necessary skills and competencies to perform tasks and solve problems in digital environments (Fu, 2013; Sarkar, 2012; Martin & Grudziecki, 2006). This set of skills is now defined as digital literacy skills. According to Fu (2013) digital literacy is a set of skills required by 21st Century individuals to use digital tools to support the achievement of goals in their life situations. A broader discussion on this emerging concept appears later in this paper.

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