Digital Proficiency: Literacy, Fluency, and Mastery
Many institutions and companies believe that merely installing new tech will be the key to improving productivity, efficiency and engagement. However, what they soon find out is that the tech or software itself is not enough to do that.
Why? Because even if you have the highest level of tech, if the people using it are not familiar or comfortable with it, the systems will not be used to their fullest. This is why digital literacy is so important.
The term, though used as a blanket term, does have more levels than just literacy. To help you understand the levels of digital literacy, we will take a look at each below.
When looking at how literacy is defined, you will find it is retaining by reading and writing, but the definition can be extended into the digital world. The basics of this skill are that you can consume and understand the information. Once you can do that and then redistribute that information, you are deemed literate.
When used in the digital world, this boils down to understanding how to navigate and find information. Having your team able to do this is very basic, but it is a place to start. You will have to push your team further than just being literate for your institution or company to get the most out of your tech.
Moving up from literacy, you will find fluency. When looking at this tier of digital proficiency, you will find that the individual in this tier will find it easy to navigate the digital world and even understand some in-depth digital language. If your team member is at this level, they will get jobs done more easily and faster.
When fluent in the new tech, this individual will search using more precise terms or bookmark a quick access page. Fluency of your institution’s digital tech and systems is a great goal, but if you want to use these systems in a more optimized way, you will want to strive for mastery.
You have to understand the basics before you can become a master, which is true in anything. When an individual works their way into mastery, this is the level when they can go into more challenging uses of the systems. They can use the simple features to push the systems beyond what the original intentions were.
This may be things like being able to use more in-depth programs like automation tools. By being able to do this, it can help these individuals stay alert to new information to see if it is of importance to what they are doing. Mastery is the final destination for digital proficiency, but the individual will have to keep learning as the systems and tech evolves.
Digital literacy is important to the performance and productivity of almost every industry, going into the future. If you want to get the most out of that new tech and systems, you will want to ensure that the education to be digital proficient is available for everyone.