New Features of Learners in Education: Digital Awareness, Digital Competence, and Digital Fluency

New Features of Learners in Education: Digital Awareness, Digital Competence, and Digital Fluency

Figen Kilic, Ismail Karakuş
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4534-8.ch007
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Throughout the recent decades there have been rapid developments and changes in terms of science and technology. From now on, individuals want a flexible education format in which time and place are changeable in line with their desires and concerns. Particularly from the perspective of lifelong learning, digitalization can be seen as an important element which forces individuals to change. Some of these are digital awareness, digital competence, and digital fluency. As one of the digital terms, digital competence includes the effective, efficient, critical, flexible, and reflective structuring of information for business, learning, and socializing, while the latter digital fluency is the ability to know when and where to use technology. The main problem that stands out is adapting education programs according to the new developments. The restructuring of the program development activities, so as to raise individuals with changing and developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes, acts like a spotlight which highlights the critical role of program development in the education system.
Chapter Preview


Technological developments in the digital world are known as the concepts that transform human lives. Particularly, just after the spread and development of portable and mobile technologies, it has become virtually impossible for people and institutions to follow developments in many fields including education. For education, it can be said that a digital process, in which developments occur at a rapid speed, has been going on. Developing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) contributed to both information levels and accessibility of information (Erkan, 1988). It is widely known that validity duration of information has been gradually decreasing, and information needs to be continuously updated. Thanks to digital technologies that are constantly evolving, information has been accepted as the main power and resource in all other fields, especially education, and this has paved the way for a new “digital” society based on information. Therefore, it is very important to make our students adapt to this digital society of the future.

Since individuals with digital competence need to be interactive and productive in the digital environment, they are also expected to be conscious citizens of the digital world. The ability of the individuals to obtain new knowledge and skills in line with adapting to the changes and transformations in technology depends on their flexibility and fluency throughout their lives. The changes and developments in digital technologies radically altered the functioning of society, particularly the way of learning, communicating and working. Thus, the concept of 'Digital' has become an important part of everyday life in the context of skills that can be acquired in the 21st century. Digitalization in education leads to many easy, active, efficient and result-oriented methods in terms of individuals, society and institutions (Parlak, 2017). In such a context, the increasing digitalization of today's world and school life has significantly changed the conditions of education. It can be claimed that it is very significant to restructure and raise all stakeholders of education, students in particular, with digital consciousness.

Thanks to the abovementioned feature, digitalization emerges as one of the most important global trends of the 21st century, and the concept of “digital education” emerges as new technological developments and its reflections on education increase day by day. 'Digital education' refers to the processes of learning and teaching digital technology and the use of digital technology in education (Bayne & Ross, 2011). For this point of view, Prensky (2001) emphasizes that the new generation spends all their lives with computers, tablets, video games, smartphones and all other tools of the digital age. The author defined these digital children of the digital age as “digital natives” and regarded today's students as individuals who speak the digital languages ​​of the internet, video games and computers as if these languages were their mother tongues. Jones et al. also (2010) stated that these digital natives are growing with computers and the Internet, and they have a talent with high skill levels while using new technologies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Awareness: It is the awareness of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for individuals to use digital tools effectively.

Lifelong Learning: Lifelong learning consists of learning experiences that are programmed at home, at work, in the environment we live in, or in educational institutions. People might take part in them by chance, formally or informally (Jackson, 2006).

Digital Fluency: It is the ability to adapt to the changes in technology in order to obtain new information that can be encountered throughout life (Pinho & Lima, 2013).

Digital Competence: It is the ability of individuals to use digital technology and communication tools appropriately to access, manage, combine. and evaluate information. It is also considered as attitude, ability, and ability to communicate with others to build new information and to participate society effectively (Lennon et al., 2003).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: