Chapter 6: Developing digital literacy in learners’ lives
The term digital literacy is used in many different ways. Our focus is on digital literacy used in daily life by all Canadians to:
Enhance personal opportunities and quality of life.
Use digital technologies to access products and services.
Participate in the digital economy.
Ensure equitable representation in democratic processes and forums.
Developing digital literacy in people’s lives starts where learners are at, which can include incorporating the use of learners’ smartphones, and leveraging their devices to support further learning. Also considered are opportunities to develop personal pursuits and transferable digital skills and insights that enable different forms of online participation while safeguarding privacy, security and one’s digital footprint.
Learners need to use up-to-date and well-designed applications, platforms, tools and materials for enhanced learning opportunities with a focus on affordable options to support use beyond the program. They also need to be introduced to assistive technologies and features that are available in applications or as add-ons to build a repertoire of communication practices. Applications, materials and content need to be interactive and multi-modal, supporting evidence-based pedagogy and individual preferences.
Integrated into learning for further education, employment and personal goals should be opportunities to leverage technology to ensure equal outcomes and representation. Literacy and basic skills programs (LBS) programs can support learners with navigating services, businesses and institutions with online-only and online-first entry points, helping them to understand the implications (both the benefits and potential negative impacts) of the interactions and transactions. Learners can find safe digital spaces that support their participation and contributions, and they have opportunities to engage in public consultations, democratic forums and processes to ensure representation for themselves, families and communities.