Marc Prensky invented and popularized the terms digital natives and digital immigrants to describe respectively an individual born into the digital age and one adopting the appropriate skills later in life (Prensky, 2001). A digital immigrant refers to an individual who adopts technology later in life. So, I guess fall under the category of a digital immigrant. Ever since I become a digital immigrant, I completely enjoy this space and just cannot imagine life without it.  Furthermore, by joining the ONL course – I am privileged to have met and interacted with people who are so knowledgeable on digital tools and are so willing to share their experience of using these tools thereby making my digital literacy even stronger!

As I reflect on my life before being digitally literate – we had to hand write a letter to someone and then have it delivered via post which usually took weeks.  Then to get a response you had to wait for weeks.  Now it’s so amazing – just one touch of a button and so many things can be done digitally.

In the workplace if you are digitally literate you are more likely to be economically secure as many jobs require a working knowledge of computers and the Internet to perform basic tasks and additionally digital literacy skills is a workforce preparation activity (IMLS Press Release, 2014). Being digital literacy can also prevent people from being taken advantage of online.

Technology and being digital literate have enabled the world to enter an era of online participation. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have great advantages to participate online.  However, even though it has great benefits – it also makes perfect targets for scams.

Here are some tips to stay safe on social media:

  1. Use a strong password.  The longer it is, the more secure it will be.
  2. Use a different password for each of your social media accounts.
  3. Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request.  It could be a fake account.
  4. Click links with caution.  Social media accounts are regularly hacked.  Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.
  5. Be careful about what you share. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information i.e.: home address, financial information, phone number.  The more you post the easier it is to have your identity stolen.
  6. Remember to log off when you’re done.

Read more:


Gui, M. and Argentin, G. (2011). Digital skills of internet natives: Different forms of digital literacy in a random sample of northern Italian high school students. New Media & Society. Volume 13(6)

IMLS Press Release (2014). $2.2 Billion Reasons to Pay Attention to WIOA.

Prensky, Marc (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon9 (5): 1–6. 

Wynne, M. and Cooper, L. (2007). Digital Inclusion Imperatives Offer Municipalities New Social and Economic Opportunities. Retrieved from POWER UP: The Campaign for Digital Inclusion.

Topic 1: Online Participation & Digital Literacies