What is DIGITAL LITERACY? What does DIGITAL LITERACY mean? DIGITAL LITERACY meaning - DIGITAL LITERACY definition - DIGITAL LITERACY explanation. Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license. Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy. While digital literacy initially focused on digital skills and stand-alone computers, the focus has shifted from stand-alone to network devices including the Internet and social media. Digital literacy is distinct from computer literacy and digital skills. Computer literacy preceded digital literacy. Computer literacy refers to knowledge and skills in using traditional computers, such as desktop PCs and laptops. Computer literacy focuses on practical skills in using software application packages. Digital skills is a more contemporary term and are limited to practical abilities in using digital devices, such as laptops and smartphones. Digital literacy is the marrying of the two terms digital and literacy. However, it is much more than a combination of the two terms. Digital information is a symbolic representation of data, and literacy refers to the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently, and think critically about the written word. A digitally literate individual will possess a range of digital skills, knowledge of the basic principles of computing devices, and skills in using computer networks. The individual has the ability to engage in online communities and social networks while adhering to behavioral protocols. The individual is able to find, capture, and evaluate information. Digital literacy requires the individual to understand the societal issues raised by digital technologies and possess critical thinking skills. These skills can be possessed through digital experiences that pushes individuals to think in a variety of ways through a multitude of media platforms. The evolution of digital media has quickly integrated into literacy. Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. It builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Digital literacy allows individuals to communicate and learn in through a plethora of ways. Different kinds of skills ranging from social to critical thinking enable individuals to interpret the meanings of digital devices. In addition to critical thinking skills, digital literacy involves ethical norms and standards of behavior in online environments. Every online community has its individual sets of norms and rules in regard to creating and circulating information. Behavioral protocols are required in the digital age where there is no longer a clear distinction between online consumers and producers. The unclear distinction between online consumers and producers is referred as produsage. Digital literacy is one of the nine core elements of digital citizenship. A digital citizen has the ability to be active citizens in online environments and possesses the technical literacy skills necessary to effectively engage with the web. The internet is accessible in their homes and individuals use the internet daily. Other terms, such as 'Information and data literacy', are also used to encompass the same competences as in digital literacy. This term is used in the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, a tool created by the European Commission to improve citizen's digital competence for work and employability, learning, leisure, consumption and participation in society. Version 2.0 of the framework was created in 2016 which updates the descriptors and terms used (Vuorikari et al., 2016). Digital literacy researchers explore a wide variety of topics, including how people find, use, summarize, evaluate, create, and communicate information while using digital technologies. Research also encompasses a variety of hardware platforms, such as computer hardware, cell phones, mobile devices and software or mobile applications, including web search or internet applications, more broadly. Research of digital literacy is concerned with much more than how people learn to use computers.