Monday, April 29, 2013

Digital Illiteracy

Some time ago my friend Ana Silva wrote an interesting post about a very important topic: digital literacy. Please read her post (and the comments). The main point of her post is that we should not assume people get the internet or get social media and will start working out in the open by themselves. Some do, but many need to be helped. We have to teach them, step-by-step, to be digitally literate. This is hard work.

I’ve written about this topic quite a bit as well using a different term: ‘personal knowledge management’. How do we become more productive working out in the open and using the new (and old) social concepts and tools?

As I wrote in a comment on Ana’s post, this is not a small issue. Recently the Dutch newspaper I read (nrc.nl) ran an extra section of the newspaper about ‘searching in a smarter way on the internet’ (Dutch: Slimmer zoeken op internet’). Very interesting stuff with all kinds of tips & tricks to improve the way you use the internet. But what struck me is the economic implication of digital illiteracy. The University of Twente published a study “Ctrl Alt Delete” and they found that 5.3% of our work time is lost due to digital illiteracy. That’s 10 billion euro’s per year in The Netherlands alone! That’s a lot of money. And there’s a lot of work to do.

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