Seeing Isn’t Always Believing: Digital Literacy for Students

13 Jan

Khan Academy receives 10 million unique visitors each month. Meritnation, India’s largest online platform for K-12 education, is used by more than one crore students. 81% Millennials are on Facebook. It is an understatement to say that students today are good at surfing the web. They are digital natives. Most of the generation X, Y, and Z have not needed adapt to new technologies. They were born into it.


For educators, too, the internet had a huge impact in transforming teaching. Lessons have become more interactive and gamified. Internet has freed education from some constraints of space and time. But, even today educators are struggling to fully understand the integration of technology and the classroom.

So why is there a conversation about digital literacy? And, more importantly, what is digital literacy?

According to The National Digital Literacy Mission, “Digital Literacy is the ability of individuals and communities to understand and use digital technologies for meaningful actions within life situations.”

For students, to be digitally literate means, to be able to

  • Discover
  • Evaluate
  • Utilise
  • Create
  • Share

content, using information technologies and the internet.

The key idea is to make an efficient plan for the use of technology to discover and evaluate information, connect and pool resources, and create and share content.


Digital literacy means being able to bridge the gap between discovering information and evaluating it, for example, researching statistics on infant mortality could yield varied results, but on evaluation, the WHO will prove the best source. It also means being able to connect relevant dots for curating information – videos, presentations, essays, and live-streams. And finally, once content has been created, it enables sharing on the best channels and social media.

While the internet offers an overwhelming amount of information, there is need for caution. It is an open access resource. After the movie, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter came out, a few pranksters edited the Wikipedia profile of the late American president to say that he had actually been a vampire hunter. If any students mentioned that in history essays, needless to say, their grades went where that edit had – into the bin. Incidents like this are the biggest arguments against digital learning.

This is why, for students who seek to be digital literates, seeing isn’t always believing. They must focus on skills like analysis, scrutiny while learning how to use the internet to its full potential. Digital Literacy will then become part of a more comprehensive process.

Compiled by Mehal Yadav

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