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Digital Literacy

 Digital Literacy

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy refers to the skills and knowledge needed to use digital devices, software, and the internet effectively. It means being able to understand and use technology, evaluate information online, and communicate with others online.

Digital literacy also includes knowing how to be safe and respectful online.

Basically, it's about knowing how to use computers, the internet, and other digital tools in a smart and responsible way.


Library Support for Digital Literacy

The library is in a unique position to support both learners and educators with digital literacy skills. 

Skip to the bottom of the page to learn more.

Digital Literacy in Post-Secondary Education

What does it mean to be digitally literate in a post-secondary environment? The BC Government has established eight areas of digital literacy (called thematic competencies) that describes the desired skills, knowledge, and abilities of people participating in a digital society. 

Digital Literacy in British Columbia 

More information about the BC Government's response to digital literacy.

BC's Digital Learning Strategy

To help the post-secondary system navigate the rapidly growing and ever-changing digital landscape of education, the BC Government developed a Digital Learning Strategy with recommendations, actions, guidance, and resources to support digital learning in BC.

Post-Secondary Digital Literacy Framework

As part of the Digital Learning Strategy, a Post-Secondary Digital Literacy Framework was developed to define digital literacy for post-secondary populations. It includes eight thematic competencies that outline the desired skills, knowledge, and abilities of people participating in a digital society.

Each competency explains what it means to be digitally literate within four distinct post-secondary populations: 

  1. Digital Citizen - an aspirational state of digital literacy
  2. Incoming learners - people who are new to post-secondary studies
  3. Educators - people involved in teaching learners
  4. Program graduates - people who have completed a post-secondary credential.

Learn more about the competencies and the desired skills for each population group in the BC Post-Secondary Digital Literacy Framework.

Eight Areas of Digital Literacy

Short summaries of the BC government's eight thematic competencies. For longer descriptions, review the Post-Secondary Digital Literacy Framework.

1. Ethical & Legal

From ethical and legal perspectives, a digitally literate person will:

  • understand and abide by principles of privacy protection, inclusion, and accessibility in digital spaces
  • recognize when these principles are not being upheld
  • be aware that power inequalities can exist in digital spaces and
  • contribute to equitable and safer spaces
2. Technology Supports

From a technology supports perspective, a digitally literate person will:

  • explore new technologies with curiosity
  • have troubleshooting skills and
  • intentionally select appropriate tools for different tasks
3. Information Literacy

From an information literacy perspective, a digitally literate person will:

  • use critical thinking skills, which includes understanding how online information is produced, prioritized, and presented
  • recognize that online information can provide different perspectives and ways of knowing and
  • is aware of biases within online content and technology
4. Digital Scholarship

From a digital scholarship perspective, a digitally literate person will:

  • intentionally and purposefully use digital technologies for learning,
  • including developing effective research, critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, and decision-making skills
5. Communication & Collaboration

From a communication & collaboration perspective, a digitally literate person will be able to:

  • use online tools to communicate and collaborate with others
  • make valuable contributions in digital spaces and
  • intentionally craft their messages based on how they want them to be interpreted
6. Creation & Curation

From a creation & curation perspective, a digitally literate person will be able to:

  • create or curate accessible digital materials that are specific to different audiences and platforms
7. Digital Wellbeing

From a digital wellbeing perspective, a digitally literate person will:

  • use technology to support their wellbeing
  • have strategies for managing technology if it negatively impacts their physical, mental, or emotional health
  • have healthy boundaries with digital technologies and
  • will not use digital technologies in ways that harm others
8. Community-Based Learning

From a community-based learning perspective, a digitally literate person will:

  • work with individuals and communities to support digital projects,
  • including placing Indigenous or community knowledge and cultural practices at the centre of projects to produce mutually beneficial outcomes

Library Support for Digital Literacy

The library is available to support both learners and educators when it comes to digital literacy. The list below is not exhaustive. Contact the Library for more information.

  •   Teaching custom information literacy and digital scholarship workshops
  •   Coordinating a technology lending and support program
  •   Hosting academic integrity and citation workshops
  •   Questions about intellectual property, copyright, and open education
  •   Ensuring online resources, including databases, eJournals, and eBooks, are accessible
  •   Supporting students and instructors learning about ethical uses of generative AI