What digital literacy skills are important for workforce today?
First, I think of this in two boxes: basic digital lit skills required for any job, and career specific skills (which include IT sector and not IT jobs). For basic skills, I include computer basics, office applications (word, some spreadsheet skills, basic presentation capacity), Internet basics (email w/attachments, effective web searching), file management, and basics in computer and internet safety and security. At this point I'd consider some social media basics too. Fyi, there's a pretty good Career Paths in Information Technology chart at http://www.seakingwdc.org/pdf/industry/ITCareerPaths.pdf
The ability to efficiently and effectively use technology resources to conduct research is huge. Not only to find information, but to understand how to sort and filter reliable and credible information from the web. Someone with digital literacy skills will now that keyword searches do not always yield effective results and will understand how to find and use web-based resources that help people conduct smarter searches.
I agree with all your points...I see these needs frequently in not only my own staff, but the people we serve who are looking for work. One thing also is knowledge of software and how they can effectively utilize the appropriate software for their needs. Another thing is using online services like Gmail/Calender/Reader/Documents etc. to store and access information. I find the Google services very useful in so many areas of my work.
The comments above are spot on. It's easy to find information today - but difficult to find good information. As a librarian, I remember realizing 15 years ago that our job had shifted from finding info to finding good information and helping patrons understand the difference. Some of it is being taught in the schools right now - but there's definitely a gap in the workforce that can be difficult to overcome in part because good information can take longer to find and patience is not always rewarded.
Clearly digital literacy skills will increasingly become more and more important in the 21st Century global communications & information economy for individuals (including future generations) to be able to succeed today and in the future and participate successfully in the workforce. We need to ensure enough young people have the knowledge and the skills to know how to get online whether they use a personal computer (Mac or Windows/Linux PC), a smartphone Apple iPhones (regardless of model year, name and/or version) on AT&T or Verizon's network, Google Android powered phones by HTC, Motorola etc whether on Sprint, AT&T, Verizon Wireless or T Mobil networks; RIM's Blackberry phones on all carriers offering them, HP phones running Palm's WebOS, Microsoft Windows Mobile phones or tablet computers like the Apple iPad (includes iPad 2), Blackberry Playbook, Motorola Xoom and/or Samsung Galaxy Tab (both running Android) etc. The point is regardless of what devices and operating system software we use, or what carriers we use we should be able to get online -- regardless of even what web browsing software we use (Apple Safari for Mac OS X/Microsoft Windows, Safari for iOS devices (mobile), Opera including Opera for computers and mobile, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome etc easily and affordably.
I applaud the U.S. Commerce Department for launching Digital Literacy.gov and hope it articulates good policies and launches good initiatives to help foster increased digital literacy and help encourage more public participation online as much as possible. I urge the Commerce Department which launched this website in partnership with the National Telecommunications Information Administration to work with the Federal Communications Commission on broadband policy matters to the full extent possible and encourage revising the National Broadband Plan to address its deficiencies in regards to broadband adoption-- lack of competition, resulting in fewer consumer choices and higher prices stifling adoption.
However, this is a good initiative by the Commerce Department and NTIA. Thanks for launching Digital Literacy.gov
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