Digital literacy means understanding technology and using it appropriately
When asked what digital literacy is and why it matters, Dipankar Ghosh, Regional IT Head at Max Healthcare, in an exclusive interview with CIO News, said, “The word digital always comes up in an ocean of literature associated with it.” It enhances the development of inbuilt technicalities. Capturing the heights through digital technologies such as internet platforms, social media, mobile devices, and, of course, computers is a skill set to LIVE, LEARN, and WORK with in a society where communication and access to information are valued. Although the meaning of digital literacy can vary greatly by source, even to the point of confusion, digital literacy encompasses 21st-century skills related to the effective and appropriate use of technology.
With the advancement of technology over the years, we will be living in this world burdened by computers, mobiles, and gadgets. This domination of technology in our lives has evolved and changed the way we as youths and our children’s future have to live within it. Teaching kids’ digital literacy skills is very important now. Children of this century need to be able to understand the advancement of the technology that they use so they can use it safely and effectively. Digital literacy is not just about knowing how to take a selfie or update insta stories. Digital literacy means understanding technology and using it appropriately. We know what traditional literacy means. Literacy comes into one’s life when it comes to the ability to read and learn via writing. But in today’s world, being literate isn’t enough anymore for kids. It needs children to have knowledge of digital equipment.
When asked about his views on digitally up-skilling the youth in the post-COVID era, he said, “In only a few months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted livelihoods for millions of young people worldwide.” Education and training opportunities for youth have also been interrupted, creating long-term implications for post-COVID recovery. It’s important to focus and gear up on the role of digital technologies—which play a major chunk of adoption to mitigate the effects of the crisis on youth. This has helped and directed young people to go for online learning; entrepreneurs to engage in e-commerce; and workers to earn income through online freelancing and microworking. Not only the public sectors, even our governments and businesses are increasing their investments in digital skills development to ensure that youth can dominate online education and employment opportunities.
The primacy section of education should start focusing on subjects like digital technologies. Schools and colleges should adopt the practise of using computers in every segment.
A Class 5 student should know that-
- The HASH tags we use on social media not only direct viewers’ attention to their posts, but also lead to empowering the media’s business needs or the audience’s voice.
- The Digital watches not only show the new design of watch incorporated-they show the health and data tracking via the digital platform.
- Social media video conferences are not only a funny entertainment platform but can help and reciprocate the view of positive thoughts and the medium of data sharing.
If we talk about the IT industry, lots of young people are already engaged with different video conference media for their daily meetings, presentations, etc. We should base the motivation of the positivity on usage and the productivity of the outcome on the same baseline.
When asked how the youth can be digitally empowered, what kind of exposure and engagement opportunities in the educational curriculum educational institutes can implement to raise the interest of youths to up-scale their digital skills, he said, “The youth of today’s world are active participants in all aspects of their lives.” They are critical role models in guiding society and the nation toward a common goal. It is very indispensable for the empowerment of the domain knowledge of all the digital platforms—wherever it exists on the mobile app, cloud, play store, app store, anywhere. The media is a terminology that has a strong existence in showcasing the digital role via any digital platform. We should communicate the outcome of the digital platform to each and every individual. Let’s say Microsoft has a feature of video conferencing and meeting via Teams Meeting App. Likewise, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc. They have huge outbursts throughout the entire world. The knowledge of the same should have been a focus since the initial syllabus of their course material.
Every institution, like a college, school, etc., must have the preliminary structure of courses related to digital media. We should start thinking about how things can be made robust, easier, and more matured using technology like Zoom, Meet, etc. To maintain the gap between the post-COVID era and now, every functionality should be communicated to every youth for future generations. The educational body must come up with the idea of introducing digital literacy as a course material, which at least flags offs the initial idea of this technology’s usage. This will not only upscale the capability but also fulfil the basic needs of the individual in terms of the growth pertaining to their career.
When asked if it should become a must for schools, colleges, and other educational institutes to conduct workshops or crash-courses programmes to drive the importance of technology for businesses, he said, “The institutional bodies are the active players and lead the essential building blocks for developing the youth’s career.” It has every actionable item and learning agenda for the growth of the youth. Whenever we talk about the curriculum, we see that many college and school standards have the same guidelines for online study nowadays. Since it is a basic need as per the present world adoption of a variety of technologies, the way our energetic youth consume it will have a huge positive impact from the beginning of their career. We can see the digital world has changed a lot in terms of financial transactions, patient consultation, video conferences, ecommerce, online shopping, etc. The idea is to lay the groundwork for these engagements to begin in primary school. The goal and nature of social building have an impact from the beginning of the study at the school level. The educational institutes must adhere to the workshops as most of the time we see school and college students being taken for an outing as an extracurricular activity. It will also address the institutional impact on the growth and well-being of the students. When we talk about the 90’s students’ being myself, we used to have PT classes as a way to build the skills in the extra-curricular activities. The same can be flagged off by schools or colleges, which could be developed as a programme on developing candidates’ skill sets. Also, it should be a mandatory subject in terms of the institute syllabus.
When asked about his advice for youth considering their career in the technology industry, what they should know about the industry before starting their career, what challenges they could face and how they could overcome the challenges, he said, “I as an individual, I as an IT leader-it’s no matter what the lead, I am holding.” The visibility of digital literacy can be taken up by anyone. A father or mother should start guiding a child on how to use a mobile app for payment and how to use social networking sites responsibly. It is the medium on the web where technology has boomed and a lot of ecommerce sites too. They should be well educated on handling the app in terms of cyber fraud knowledge. The message should be articulated everywhere on the online or digital platform to seek the existence and features that must have an impact on the growth of the individual carrier.
The development of a career is directly related to the individual’s performance, and it contributes to the growth of society as well as the individual’s well-being. The children should be aware of how to use even a digital watch. This is the smallest object, no matter what it stores, but it can be hand sacked by any cyber fraudster. Financial matters must be addressed.
He highlighted that digital skills boot camp can help trainees access new employment opportunities. It has become more apparent when I was ready to use my skills for remote jobs during the COVID-19 period. Working remotely is far better than traditional working. During the post-Covid impact, the entire business was shifted to digital media for groceries, healthcare consultants, business conferences, and so on. Even schools and colleges are using digital media like Zoom, Meet, and Google Meet for business growth and knowledge sharing. It has an impact on all the platforms—even the OTT was a boom and everything has high adoption in the digital media. So the idea is to go through digital literacy and seek ownership for the better of the individual and society.
Also read: Embrace digital, this is not optional
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