By definition, digital fluency is “the aptitude to effectively and ethically interpret information, discover meaning, design content, construct knowledge, and communicate ideas in a digitally connected world” (Bell and Gillam, 2016). It refer to the skills an individual has in order to comprehensively use media and technology for “reading and writing digital texts” (Hague and Williamson, 2010). The Education Services Australia website provides examples of what is meant by reading and writing digital texts. Reading digital texts could be “navigating through hyperlinks” and writing digital text could be “uploading digital photos” (Hague and Williamson, 2010).
Being digitally fluent is different to being digitally literate. Digital literacy refers to the ability to use digital technology. It does not necessarily mean the individual used the technology proficiently, but well enough to get by. To be digitally fluent an individual should have a generous amount of knowledge on how to use digital technology and can operate it with ease; almost like second nature. The individual can not only use the digital devices but can explain how it works.
With an increase in dependence on digital technology, the younger generation are being exposed to digital technology from very young ages. The introduction of computers, tablets and laptops in classroom exposes them to these digital devices and teaches them skills such as typing and safe internet use. Also children are surrounded by smartphones, be it their parents’, siblings’ or even their own phone, they are constantly surrounded by digital devices. This in turn increased their likeliness of having an extensive knowledge on how to operate and understand digital technology and media; thus enabling them to become digitally fluent.
(AOA’s Ready for School Campaign, 2014)
Christian. (2011, February 5). The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency. Retrieved from SociaLens: http://www.socialens.com/blog/2011/02/05/the-difference-between-digital-literacy-and-digital-fluency/
Hague, C., & Williiamson, B. (2010, April 10). Digital Participation, digital literacy and school. Retrieved from School catalogue information service: http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/digital_participation_digital_literacy_and_school.html
Kasey, B., & Gilliam, A. (2016). Digital Fluency. Retrieved from Region 10: secure.dc2.pageuppeople.com
Spencer, K. (2015, October 30). What is Digital Fluency? Retrieved from https://karenmelhuishspencer.com/2015/10/30/what-is-digital-fluency/
White, G. (2013). Digital fluency: skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.