Online Learning Update

September 28, 2014

Digital Literacy Is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What It Means

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am


The amount of potential unlocked by the industrial revolution is dwarfed in information terms by what you can do with computers,” said Ari Geshner, a senior software engineer at Palantir. “Digital literacy is about learning to use the most powerful tools we’ve ever built.” The tricky part comes in defining what exactly is meant by “use.” Most people who use computers don’t know how to build software. Does that mean they’re digitally illiterate? It’s become commonplace to argue that everyone is better off learning at least basic programming skills—that coding itself is the new, necessary literacy. But “learning to code” is an exceedingly broad concept, and one which without more specifics risks oversimplifying conversations about what digital literacy really means. And how digital literacy is defined is important. This isn’t just about filling Silicon Valley jobs. It’s about educators, policy makers, and parents understanding how to give the rising generations of digital natives the tools they need to define the future of technology for themselves.

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