Digital Technologies in Promoting Literacy

Dec 07, 2021


“As the border between physical and digital gets more permeable, a new kind of literacy emerges. And that literacy is built on the foundation of code- whether its code of letters and words or the codes of bits and algorithms.” -John Battelle

Today the world is digital and revolutionary. Especially after the global pandemic, we were able to realise the power that digital technology and media holds. For almost a year (or 2 quarters of a year) the world was running online. People from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe were connected through the internet. It was a difficult time for everyone, even the authorities had their hands tied. Social networks gained momentum, and schools & offices ran online. This is the right time to look at the benefits of digital technology and how we can use it to advance literacy.

Digital Literacy is a must in the ever so changing, technology driven world with rapid growth and transformation. Children and toddlers from a very young age (belonging from middle class or higher families) quickly adapt to technology and are attached to it. They are a in way smarter than the older generation because of the advancements and development obtained through technology. The youth and adults each see their own benefits from the internet and electronic devices. Even the elderly generation who are not very well educated are utilizing the internet as a means to experience and learn more things. Each generation has its own interest in digital content and such inclusivity makes it very prominent and even useful.

Digital media is a diverse space and a realm of infinite possibilities. Last year digital and social media aided connectivity. It also taught us that we can in fact make e-learning a valuable and valid option to spread literacy. Doing this will provide students in remote areas the access to quality without having to waste time commuting or compromise the standard of learning by opting for accessible institutions nearby for the sake of it. Learning through the internet also makes it easier for people with physical handicaps to attain their desired education without restrictions due to mobility and lack of support from others. Moreover, the new world requires us to learn to work with the technology and use it to our advantage. This way students who fall sick or face an avoidable cause can successfully access their education without fail. There are many benefits which emphasize the need  to enhance e-learning, such as  running the world during a global lockdown.

But in order to achieve such an ambitious goal, we need to eradicate digital poverty and make computer devices and properly functioning internet connections an asset to all students. Especially for students, kids and even adults in remote, restricted or under-developed areas with poor literacy rates. If the world is to go digital again and utilize its capabilities, people should make technologies available to all. 

Digital technologies also have its fair share of disadvantages. With easy popularity, often wrong things become trendy and misinformation spreads like wildfire.  As users are mostly driven by mass media and do not have access to accurate data and information; critical communication has become a privilege. Ofcourse, there is always the topic of over-usage and being addicted to the internet. These issues need to be dealt with standardized strategies. But all in all, there is a great scope in technology. Digital technology can help advance literacy in ways no other strategy/ mechanism has so far. 

[And with that hope for a new approach, we have come to the end of our Literacy series.]

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