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Defining Digital Fluency

What is digital fluency?

Digital literacy and digital fluency describe students' capability in using digital technologies to achieve desired learning outcomes.

  • Digital literacy – A digitally literate person knows how to use digital technologies and what to do with them.

  • Digital fluency – A digitally fluent person can decide when to use specific digital technologies to achieve their desired outcome. They can articulate why the tools they are using will provide their desired outcome.

A digitally fluent student:

  • knows where and how to find and access information quickly and accurately

  • can critique the relevance and accuracy of information being accessed

  • is an adept producer of digital content

  • can recognise and use the most effective methods of reaching their intended audience

  • understands and demonstrates how to use digital technologies responsibly including – digital security (self-protection), copyright (MoE, n.d.).

Ministry of Education, New Zealand. (n.d.). Digital Fluency. Retrieved from:

White (2013) proposes a list of topics that might be included in a potential ‘Digital Fluency” learning area.

"A suggestion of topics to be covered in a K-12 education subject, for the effective use of the Internet for learning, takes into account the skills that are needed to successfully use digital technologies for learning eg critical thinking and collaboration. It also includes aspects of online safety and legal issues such as copyright and privacy. The following suggested topics for a digital fluency K-12 subject have been listed in alphabetical order. • Acceptable behaviour • Collaboration, communication, problem solving and research skills • Community involvement • Critical thinking • Design skills • Digital commons and copyright • Digital fluency • Ethics • History of the Internet • Identity and privacy • Project management • Safety • Technology terms" (White, 2013, p.8)

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