how to improve digital literacy

Let’s begin with a simple question; are you digitally literate? You may be wondering what digital literacy means, so let’s take some time to define it before we look at the steps you can take to improve your digital literacy.

Digital literacy basically means you being able to live, learn and work in this digital world. As you know by now, the digital world has taken over almost everything else. As such, you need to possess some ‘digital’ abilities in order to survive in this day and age.

You are said to possess some level of digital literacy if you have such abilities. It all bores down to being able to communicate and also assess any information that you want through the use of various digital technologies such as the internet, social media, and using various smart devices.

Your ability to use any of these technologies to achieve a set goal is what we refer to as digital literacy and to be able to do this, you need to have or possess some skills which are called digital skills.

According to Wikipedia, digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and clearly communicate information through typing and other media on various digital platforms. It goes on to explain that digital literacy is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills, and ability to produce text, images, audio, and designs using technology.

Importance of having digital literacy

  • Helps you to efficiently communicate with others (friends, workmates, teachers, supervisors, etc)
  • Helps you to purchase goods and services online
  • Helps you to access information easily or to pass on information to others in a timely manner
  • Protects you from being taken advantage of online (phishing, online scams, photo, and video manipulation, stealing of personal information)

It is also worth noting that most people who take advantage of people online through scamming or frauding possess digital literacy. This means that, in as much as digital literacy can be used for good, there are some people who use their digital literacy as an aid to take advantage of innocent ignorant people.

For this reason, it is important for you to improve your digital literacy as much as possible so as to live conveniently in the digital world. The only way you can protect yourself against fraudulent digital nomads is to improve your digital literacy.

We will therefore take a look at the five steps you should take to improve your digital literacy.

NB: If you don’t like reading then you can watch the video where I discuss the steps you can take to improve your digital literacy.

What are the steps to take to improve your digital literacy?

In order to improve your digital literacy, you have to improve on the digital skills that you have. Therefore, it all begins with identifying the digital skills that you have and making conscious efforts to improve upon them. 

Below are the five steps to take to improve your digital literacy:

  1. Read on the skill as often as possible
  2. Use your digital skills or practice your skills regularly
  3. Associate with people who have the skill
  4. Take refresher courses on the skill 
  5. Upskill as often as you can

Now, let’s take each of them and discuss them in detail.

Step 1: Read on the skill as often as possible

Whatever digital skill that you have, you need to read about the skill as often as possible. This is because the digital world is a very fast-paced one and things change at the speed of light. For that matter, you want to always be abreast with the industry standards.

You can read industry news, white papers, stories about people who possess similar skills and what they are doing with their skills, etc.

Having a wealth of knowledge about the skills that you have will go a long way to help you. Being up to date on some of these digital skills is what will protect you from the hungry insensitive fraudsters out there looking for people to scam.

Step 2: Use your digital skills or practice with your skills

Did you know that the easiest way to lose any digital skill that you have is by not practicing? Yes, and the easiest way to ensure that you always have that skill is by practicing or using it as often as possible.

Just like any skill, the less you use a skill, the rustier you become at it. Imagine not speaking or even hearing a language you learned for a long time. The day you decide to speak this language after a long break you are definitely going to find it difficult to recollect even some basic things.

In the same way, if you don’t use the digital skills that you have you become rustier at them. When you need them the most that are when they will fail you. Hence, in order to improve upon your digital literacy, you have to use the digital skills you possess as often as possible.

Practice they say makes one perfect. By using the digital skills regularly, you become more proficient and that is a sure way to improve your digital literacy.

Step 3: Associate with people who have the skill

One of the fastest ways to improve your digital literacy is by associating with people who have the skills you have or want to have. People especially close allies have the greatest influence on us. 

When you associate with people who are experts in various digital skills, it is only a matter of time for you to also become an expert. For instance, if we consider a digital skill like PowerPoint designing, in case you just started with it and want to get better at it, you may want to associate with people who also like designing PowerPoint presentations and you are going to learn a thing or two from them. 

The advantage is that when you see people using the skill that you wish so much to have or the skill that you have that you want to improve upon, you are also inspired to learn more or do more with that skill.

Also, by seeing them doing it, you easily pick up new information or new ways to apply the skills that you have. Therefore it is going to help you become better, to become better at that skill than you already are. So, do well to associate with people who have that skill that you want to improve upon.

One of the easiest ways to find people who possess the skills that you want to improve upon is to join various relevant online communities. Techpady has an online community where you get to meet other digital enthusiasts like you and learn from each other. The community is called iKrate Community (Available on Telegram, Facebook, and WhatsApp). If you are interested in becoming a member then click on any of the links to join.

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Digital School Academy

Join our telegram channel and benefit from our regular digital skills trainings and also become a tech guru with very simplified tech tutorials

Step 4: Take refresher courses on the skill 

The next step that you can take to improve your digital literacy, is to take refresher courses in the relevant digital skills. In fact, when it comes to digital skills, there are lots of tutorials in the form of blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc out there that you can easily have access to.

You can even get most of these tutorials for free. As an ardent user of any digital skill, you should be ready to take refresher courses as often as you can. 

That basically means you going to relearn some of the things that you know already. Many a time, you tend to forget some basis or how certain things are done because you have not been doing it for a while.

Hence by taking a refresher course, you are basically going back to refresh your memory on those things that you might have forgotten how to do with the digital skills that you have. 

Step 5: Upskill as often as you can

The last and final step that you need to take to improve your digital literacy is to upskill as much as possible. 

Upskilling in this contest means adding on new skills to what you already have. Why is this even necessary to do if you already have some digital skills?

The answer is simple. You live in a fast-paced world and things keep evolving faster than you can imagine. The only way for you to remain relevant is to be abreast with the trends as much as possible. This often implies you learning the new set of skills needed.

In fact, almost every day there are updates to the skills that you have, there are changes to the software that you use, and the gadgets that you use become updated. 

So you need to learn as often as you can and you need to learn new skills to be able to survive very well in this day and age. You also need to pick up new skills as things keep changing. 

Conclusion

In summary, to improve your digital literacy, you have to be up to date with the digital skills you possess, as well as learn new skills whenever possible. You will also need to practice or use the digital skills that you already have in your daily routines in order to improve your digital literacy.

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