People need to be ‘digital literate’


TODAY’S generation lives in the digital world from the day they are born.
With babies tapping on screens of tablets and phones as soon as they can move their fingers and children playing on apps rather than bikes, there are major concerns about the dark, unpoliced side of the internet.
As the world marks Safer Internet Day, the time is right to call on young people, parents, carers, teachers, companies, policymakers and all those who work with children and young people to join together in helping to create a better and safe internet.
Parents and schools especially, have the responsibility to ensure our children master the new skill of digital literacy.
Buying or not buying your child a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer is a parental decision that bears all kinds of results and parents will either gain the benefits or suffer the consequences of their decision.
Children should be made aware of the good and bad effects of these gadgets.
No doubt, responsible parents will ensure that their children use smartphones and computers in ways that will benefit them by expanding their general knowledge to enhance their education.
Every educator is familiar with the concept of literacy – the ability to read and write.
A person who is illiterate, who cannot read or write, will inevitably struggle to get along in society.
Digital literacy, by this definition, covers a wide range of skills, all of which are necessary to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Students who lack digital literacy skills may soon find themselves at just as much of a disadvantage as those who cannot read or write.
Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate and compose clear information through writing and other mediums on various digital platforms.
Most students already use digital technology, such as tablets, smartphones and computers at home.
Many students already know how to navigate the web, share images on social media, and do a Google search to find information.
However, true digital literacy goes beyond these basic skills.
Students also need to be digitally literate so that they can be safe and smart while navigating social media sites.
It is inevitable that students will get engaged with social media so schools should work to prepare them for it.
One of the most important components of digital literacy is the ability to not just find, but also to evaluate, information.
Whether they plan on going to college or not, students will need digital literacy to be successful in their personal and professional lives.
The world, as we know it, is fast changing.
We are already within a technological revolt that is reshaping the way we interact with each other, the way labour market manages its production and even the way human being reason.
Papua New Guinea needs to ensure its people are digitally-literate and know how to use the internet.
As the new submarine fibre-optic cable network comes into use to boost the internet speed in the country, internet services will become more reliable.
The internet can be a fantastic place to connect with people and share information, but it can also be exploited by criminals and abusers.

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