Ladies and gentlemen of Earth, digital literacy is important. And not just because I said so.
Within only a few clicks worth of online research, I found staggering evidence supporting the valuable societal role of digital media. A study fueled by the Microsoft Corporation found that “Those who have online access and are digitally literate are more likely to be economically secure,” (Digital Access, 1). If this is even slightly correct, then that fact alone should be enough to change the minds of teachers reticent to take advantage of digital media in the classroom. The .pdf article continues to state only about half of African-Americans and only a quarter of our friends and neighbors over 60 are online. How are these people supposed to get jobs in a highly competitive economy when they aren’t able to complete the online job application? With society’s increasingly evident reliance on technology to streamline the workplace, those who are not computer literate will look like neanderthals beside an applicant with skills in producing slide shows and multimedia documents. Of course they aren’t economically sound. Who would hire them?
In my humble opinion, high schools should prepare our youth for the world–whether they’re furthering their education or joining the workforce. If students are getting diplomas without knowledge about digital media then the system has failed them. They are ready for neither college or work.
Over the next few weeks, I hope to discover and discuss ways in which we can remedy this problem. Our children deserve our effort.