Digital Proficiency: Literacy, Fluency, and Mastery
Many institutions and companies believe that merely installing new technology will be the key to improving productivity, efficiency, and engagement, along with many other factors. But what they soon find out is the technology or software itself is not enough to do that.
Why? Because even if you have the highest level of technology, if the people using it are not familiar or comfortable with it, the systems will not be used to their fullest. This is why digital proficiency is so essential.
The term, though used as a blanket term, does have more levels than just literacy. To help you understand the levels of digital literacy, we will take a look at each below.
When looking at how literacy is defined, you will find it retaining by reading and writing, but the definition can be extended into the digital world as well. The basics of this skill are that you can consume and understand the information. Once you can do that and then redistribute that information, you are deemed literate.
When used in reference to the digital world, this boiled down to understanding how to navigate and find information. Having your team able to do this is very basic, but it is a place to start. For your institution or company to get the most out of your technology, you will have to push your team further than just being literate.
Moving up from literacy, you will find fluency. When looking at this tier of digital proficiency, you will find that the individual in this tier will find it easy to navigate the digital world and even understand some in-depth digital language. If your team member is at this level, they will get jobs done easier and faster more often.
When fluent in the new technology, this individual will be able to search using more precise terms or bookmark a quick access page. Fluency of your institution’s digital technology and systems is a great goal, but if you want to use them in a more optimized way, you will want to strive for mastery.
You have to understand the basics before you can become a master, which is true in anything. So when an individual works their way into mastery, this is the level when they can go into more challenging uses of the systems. They can use the simple features to push the systems beyond what the original intentions were.
This may be things like being able to use more in-depth programs like automation tools. By being able to do this, it can help these individuals stay alert to new information and if it is essential to what they are doing. Mastery is the final destination for digital proficiency, but the individual will have to keep learning as the systems and technology evolves.
Digital literacy is essential to the performance and productivity of almost every industry going into the future. So if you want to get the most out of that new technology and systems, then you will want to ensure that the education to be digital proficient is available for everyone.