Digital Literacy - November 2020 Professional Development

Thursday September 03, 2020

View all 2020-2021 Professional Development » 


What is digital literacy? 
Digital literacy "is the ability to effectively find, identify, evaluate, and use information."[1] It
develops students' cognitive and technical capabilities to understand information they read online and to use technology responsibly.
Building students' digital literacy encourages them to be active, engaged and connected to their learning experience. Students recognize themselves as digital citizens who have the ability to find information, identify messages and evaluate the credibility of sources. With these skills, students are better able to navigate inaccuracies and disparaging messages they encounter online by seeking out facts and staying true to their values.  

Why is it important to develop digital literacy?  In addition to developing functional digital skills such as typing, emailing, accessing applications or navigating the internet, students must also develop the ability to engage their critical thinking skills when working in digital spaces. Because technology has empowered students with the ability to produce, share and receive information widely, they must understand how to be responsible with this capability; they must learn to be digital citizens. Educators must teach students that "[t]he ability to weed out false information and find reliable sources is a key part of digital literacy and a crucial life skill in the 21st century."[2] They need the digital literacy skills to seek out credible information to counter misleading messages. Honing these skills allows them to responsibly participate in social justice.[3]

How does testimony and IWitness develop digital literacy? IWitness provides students a safe digital platform to explore challenging issues such as intolerance, racism, propaganda as well as value-centered topics such as courage, advocacy and resilience. Functional digital skills-typing, searching andnavigating-are harnessed for the purpose of diving deeper into a history, a personalstory, or a concept. To evolve their digital literacy, students are asked to evaluate information, consider perspectives, conduct inquiry-based research and create digital projects.


Teaching with Testimony Webinar:
Digital Literacy and IWitness
November 5, 2020 | 4pm PT

Digital literacy builds students' skills for using technology responsibly by developing their cognitive and technical capabilities. Being digitally literate empowers students to seek out facts and define their values as they navigate inaccuracies and disparaging messages in media. Through the humanizing power of story students learn about the harmful repercussions of unverified and propagated information and the responsibility individuals have with such information. In IWitness students develop the digital skills to evaluate and verify and understand the importance for the health of society. In this webinar, educators will learn about resources on IWitness that develop students' digital citizenship, inquiry-based research and effective communication in a safe space.

Register Now


IWitness Activities to Develop Digital Literacy: 

[1] "What Is Digital Literacy?" Common Sense Media: Ratings, Reviews, and Advice,

[2] "What Is Digital Literacy?" The Tech Edvocate, 6 May 2017,

[3] Asega, Salome. "Digital and Technological Literacy Is Crucial to Social Justice Work." Ford Foundation, Ford Foundation, 14 Nov. 2017, and technological literacy is now an important, even wider audiences--from the hyperlocal to the global. 








back to the top