05 Mar 2020

MAKE WEB LITERACY A CORNERSTONE OF EDUCATION

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are fundamental elements of education.
While the teaching methods may vary, the three Rs are immutable and universal. We are equipping the learners with the necessary skills to communicate and engage in the community. And they lay the groundwork for a number of more nuanced competencies: critical thinking, teamwork, nonlinear thinking, and others.
The three Rs just don’t go anywhere. But as more and more of our daily lives rely on the web— whether it’s getting news, communicating with friends and family, or learning about things we’re interested in — it’s time to recognize the need for another educational building block: Web literacy.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are fundamental elements of education.
While the teaching methods may vary, the three Rs are immutable and universal. We are equipping the learners with the necessary skills to communicate and engage in the community. And they lay the groundwork for a number of more nuanced competencies: critical thinking, teamwork, nonlinear thinking, and others.
The three Rs just don’t go anywhere. But as more and more of our daily lives rely on the internet— whether it’s getting news, communicating with friends and family, or learning about things we’re interested in — it’s time to recognize the need for another educational building block: Internet literacy. Involving students in classroom activities often allows them to evaluate their comprehension and capacity and instead of allowing them to rest comfortably with a knowledge of the surface, it encourages them to develop a deeper understanding of content.

However, technological simplification often means people need to understand less about the resources they use every day–increasingly complex tools. Technology remains a mystery for most people.
A lack of understanding of the basics of the internet is an obstacle to online production and involvement, which often leads to people seeing the internet simply as’ TV 2.0.’ It can, in more extreme cases, lead to false assumptions about the very nature of the Internet. A research in Nigeria and Indonesia, for example, found that over 60 per cent of participants believe Facebook is the internet.

Online literacy is necessary for people to understand everything the internet has to offer and be able to take full advantage of that. Using the internet without developing core web literacy skills is like learning the alphabet, but not the vowels–something basic is lacking, making it difficult to fully understand or use it effectively, if not impossible.
Online literacy is both a competency and a practice, including reading, writing, and arithmetic. You don’t just learn to read’ about’: you learn to read and understand. You’re not just learning arithmetical’ about’: you’re learning to count and measure.

Likewise, you don’t just learn‘ about’ the web: you learn, for instance, how to search to expand the frontiers of your knowledge. Or you learn a new skill. Or how to share your own work online.
Universal web literacy doesn’t mean that everyone needs to learn to code complex web pages. A lesser degree of engineering knowledge and empowerment can be important. Learning how to configure the programs on their computers or how to find reliable online information more efficiently creates a powerful and useful sense of agency for many.

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