If you still believe it’s enough for one tech-savvy colleague or relative to explain the latest digital trends to everyone else, think again. Our society increasingly relies on technology, and it already permeates parts of our daily lives and culture that we wouldn’t have considered only a few years ago.
Hence, promoting digital literacy, whether in the workplace, at school or on a political level, is no longer a luxury. It needs to be part of every strategy around equality, engagement or even healthcare.
If that made you curious, let’s scroll down and learn how to make everyone a digital citizen and why that’s important.
Why digital literacy is important
The days when you could afford to ignore technological advances are long gone. An increasing amount of everyday tasks now depend on digital technology, forcing us to make digital literacy a priority so nobody is excluded from recent conversations. That’s why UNICEF recognizes digital literacy as one of the central skills every child should possess.
If you’re not digitally literate, you’re not simply missing out on the latest social media fad, even though companies like Meta run their own digital literacy initiatives these days. It means you can identify the information you’re looking for online and recognize trustworthy sources. Without those capabilities, people may miss out on valuable educational, professional and personal opportunities.
Perhaps your circle of friends doesn’t rely on digital technology alone to communicate, and we wouldn’t want to convince you that’s a bad thing. However, countless jobs now require digital skills, from basic computer proficiency to more advanced technical knowledge. The reason for this lies in the immense productivity gains achievable through automation and streamlined processes.
That means, everyone who doesn’t interact with digital technology and content in their daily lives starts a new learning curve during their onboarding — assuming they’re hired in the first place. It’s clear that widespread digital literacy is a necessity in today’s world because it helps to prevent individuals from being discriminated against or excluded from our everyday dialogues.
How well-rounded device management supplements digital literacy
Without the proper tools and support, we can’t interact with the digital landscape. So, every digital literacy initiative — whether that’s in educational institutions or government agencies — has to be supplemented with proper device management strategies.
At the most basic level, that means ensuring each individual has access to up-to-date devices running reliable software built for the task at hand. The goal here is not only to supply the latest and greatest technology, but to implement adequate security measures and ensure data privacy and compliance. Otherwise, users will start to mistrust provided digital platforms.
To encourage everyone to explore and learn online without fear of cyberthreats, it’s advisable to track usage patterns and licensing information with an IT asset management tool, complemented with infrastructure for automated software maintenance. That way, you can rest assured you’re observing your licensing agreements, copyright laws and current data protection legislation.
Naturally, no strategy is complete without considering the person in front of the screen. Even though it’s not in the name, your device management strategy should include plans for training, remote learning, accessibility and ongoing support. Make sure to gather data about everyone’s knowledge and expectations to design suitable solutions unique to your situation.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and the best support and training are those that continue to help everyone navigate the digital world. To ensure you’re improving over time, it’s important to define benchmarks and track your progress over time. For some organizations, that may mean onboarding team members unfamiliar with a new operating system; for others, it could be as simple as tracking hours saved.
The broader impact of digital literacy beyond productivity
It’s tempting to think of digital literacy campaigns as pure technical measures, but based on the spread of technology in our society, we should move past that.
Helping students or employees navigate the digital world is nothing short of empowering. You’re not only supporting them in solving their current problems but enabling them to access new job opportunities or engage with society as a whole, which can even improve their economic well-being.
Consider situations in which your staff might need support with digital technology that don’t directly translate into pure productivity. Maybe certain team members need help accessing the telemedicine services you’re already providing. Perhaps someone missed out on current online discussions about your local community. Maybe you, as the more tech-savvy colleague, can think of a digital solution that could keep your friends and colleagues safe during crises.
Whatever it is, never see your own technical understanding as trivial or mundane. What’s completely normal for you could forever change your neighbor’s life, so it’s best to treat digital technology as the transformative magic wand it can be, rather than the next iteration of the typewriter.
Try to think of people you could empower, just by handing them the right tools they didn’t know they needed to achieve their goals.
Here at Faronics, we try to do the same. That’s why we follow recent trends in technology and provide you with solutions that support you in streamlining your setup and simplifying your life.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with our expert team.