Being literate and being proficient in communication are two very different skills. Our global environment demands much more of us than reading and writing. Digital literary encompasses the ability to communicate effectively on a platform that can reach any screen in the world. Being aware of the vastness of digital communication, both stretch our capacity and diminish our efforts. Glynda Hull, a Professor of Language and Literacy, Society and Culture at University of California Berkley defines this newfound phenomena of digital literacy in her article “At Last: Youth Culture and Digital Media: New Literacies for New Times” as a command of technology, awareness of self and a sensitivity of communication.
To maintain this coveted “digital literacy”, a few essentials are:
- As more informal mediums like texting primary modes of communication, it is essential to retain a fundamental understanding of grammar. I support breaking of the grammatical rules to advance an idea. However, without respecting a base system of order, your work’s message will be lost in time. Articulation is key in storytelling. Therefore, grammar infiltrates virtually every digital platform
- Being sensitive to what you tell an audience and how you attribute your sources is paramount to being taken seriously. A storyteller who does not to cite, link and understand copyright will not be able to maximize the prevalence of their story. There are too many fact checkers, Googlers and trolls to assume that any inflated yellow journalism will go unnoticed.
- Having an identity is essential to personal well-being and integral in maintaining a strong online presence. Whether it is font consistency on a website or the pictures you choose for your Facebook account vs. your Linked In Account, connecting your purpose to your content will determine your success.
Through my Digital Communications class, my understanding of articulation, attribution and establishing identity grew exponentially. Within my projects, I have sharpened my ability to execute these principles. Through concentrated revisions of my blog posts, my storytelling became more concise and effective. Before my blog, I had little knowledge of how valuable linking to sources can be. Creating my own website forced me to assess and choose what is most valuable about me. Making the decisions of what experiences and work of mine would be most impressive to future employers gave me a reality check of career compatibility. The podcast produced with my group members turned out to be the most gratifying collaboration. I conducted the interview which gave me control and agency over the direction of the work. My video editing skills have certainly improved by being a secondary editor in my group project. Watching my group member edit and being able to give her feedback has enhanced my own ability to create.
With these newfound avenues of digital literacy, I will upkeep this blog and my personal website. I’ve already used my Photoshop skills to create a Christmas card. Learning video editing allowed me to create a family vacation montage. I plan to use my base knowledge of web design to begin learning code. Knowing that I can utilize technology and define purpose gives me the confidence to try out my digital literacy to touch another human heart.