Digital Literacy is More Than Having the Knowledge of How to Use a Computer

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]This short video  clip is from a public forum hosted by The United Negro College Fund and the MacArthur Foundation on digital media and learning in multicultural contexts in March at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.

“Digital literacy is more than having the knowledge of how to use a computer, what your software program does, what function or understanding how the hardware of your computer works. Digital literacy is also about using that knowledge to actually facilitate the learning process.” –  Clarissa Myrick-Harris, director of the UNCF’s Curriculum and Faculty Enhancement Program.

“Any narrative that you tell, whether it’s you texting a friend, whether it’s you creating a social media environment, a Google map or a Facebook page or whatever, all of that depends on an effective use of language,“ –  J. Michael Hart, assistant professor of English and communications at Huston-Tillotson.

From the first forum To Be Young Digital and Black

“The access gap hasn’t been solved entirely, but a significant portion of it has been addressed,” Watkins said in an interview. “It’s not about those without technology, but increasingly what scholars like Henry Jenkins and others call the ‘participation gap.’”

“This is not necessarily one that people saw coming,” Watkins said. “Young blacks and Latinos are migrating decisively towards mobile media, using the phone as their main access point or gateway to the Internet.”

“There is always this impression that black and Latino youth, particularly those who live in deprivation and attend less-high performing schools, have a lag in their use of technology and their engagement with it,” Watkins says. “But, in some ways, they are even more assertive in their desire to be part of the tech world. Young African Americans are the early adopters of the mobile web.”

Visit Spotlight ( for more interviews from the forum.

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