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Know the ABC of digital literacy in the age of information technology
In the age of information technology, digital literacy (DL) has become a must for everyone. The concept of digital literacy was first introduced by Paul Glister in his book by the same title and he defined it as 'the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers'.

According to Henry Jenkins, digital literacy is the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies. Imparting DL require adequate process of teaching and learning about information technology and its use.

Jenkin adds that digital DL does not replace traditional forms of literacy rather it builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy since digital information is a symbolic representation of data, and literacy refers to the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently, and think critically about the written word. A digitally literate person may be described as a digital citizen.

According to the advocates of digital literacy, it can prevent people from believing hoaxes that are spread online or are the result of photo manipulation or information distortion. It is said that the E-mail frauds and phishing often take advantage of the digitally illiterate, costing victim's money and making them vulnerable to identity theft.

In the modern world invaded by digital devices, digital literacy and digital access have become increasingly important competitive differentiators, says Mark Warschauer. According to him, bridging the economic and developmental divides is in large measure a matter of increasing digital literacy and access for peoples who have been left out of the current information and communications technology revolutions.

With the various state governments in India distributing free mobiles, laptops and tablets even for blue-collar jobs demand for digital literacy has enhanced. In a way, digital literacy and netiquette have become new essentials for both daily life and the job market.

Most of our teachers also need to be made digital literates. According to Krumsvik, DL for in-service teachers is the ability to use digital artifacts as an integrated part of their pedagogical content knowledge and be aware of what implications this has for teaching,-learning strategies.

Here is the ABC of DL.

A: Ability to appropriately access and use digital technology with appropriate vocabulary

B: Being skilful in selecting information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks

D: Developing global awareness by engaging with people of other cultures and being safe in digital environment

C: Communicating through digital media with others in order to participate effectively in society

E: Empowerment through ICTs for making ethical and informed choices

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