Using technology for social purposes doesn’t equate to digital literacy

digital-textingSure, teens can text and tweet. But can they read search engine results and pick out reliable digital sources for school work?

Probably not.

For all the tech savvy that seems to come innately to digital natives — a term coined for children who grow up using gadgets their parents never even imagined — many school kids are sorely lacking in crucial skills that comprise another emerging concept called “digital literacy.”

“They’re great consumers of media and they’re great at all sorts of electronic communication,” said Sylvia Diaz, Miami-Dade County’s assistant superintendent who oversees instructional technology. “But they don’t necessarily know how to create a spreadsheet.”

Next page: What does it mean to be digitally literate?