Digital Literacy in Australian Schools

digital literacy in australian schools.

Digital Literacy in Australian Schools is important for students to navigate their education. Digital Literacy skills are also highly sought after in Australian workplaces.

Learning Digital Literacy in Australian schools allows students to find, use and create information. Students will also learn how to use digital technology safely and productively.

What is Digital Literacy?

According to The Department of Education, Victoria Digital Literacy in Australian Schools refers to a student’s ability to “use digital tools and systems” to:

  • Identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources

  • Construct new knowledge

  • Create media expressions

  • Communicate with others in the context of specific life situations

in order to “enable constructive social action”.

Introduction to literacy in Digital Technologies,

Doug Belshaw’s Digital Literacy model outlines the main elements of Digital Literacy teach students:

  • ‘Cultural’ – How to behave online

  • ‘Constructive’- How to use digital systems

  • ‘Cognitive’ – How to do things online

  • ‘Communicative’ – How to communicate with different people online

  • ‘Confident’ – How to be confident and part of the online community

  • ‘Critical’ – How to evaluate situations online

  • ‘Civic’ – How to participate online

Digital Literacy in Australian Schools – what does it look like?

In NSW, the syllabus outlines 5 key ideas for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability:

1. Investigating with ICT
2. Communicating with ICT
3. Creating with ICT
4. Managing and operating with ICT
5. Creating with ICT

This may look like:

  • Creating print, visual and digital texts experimenting with language, design, layout and graphics in English or electives

  • Using research data from digital sources to complete assessments

  • Assessing the reliability of digital resources for projects

  • Using functions on software like word or other programs to create texts

  • Learning to make informed decisions online in PDHPE

In Victoria, students utilise the ‘Digital Technologies’ curriculum to find creative digital solutions when applying information systems for problem-solving.

In Australian classrooms this may look like:

  • Using digital technology to create and manage innovative solutions in any subject area

  • Confidence in using digital systems to transform data and information into creative communication

Digital Literacy at Snowy Mountains Grammar School

This was applied at Snowy Mountains Grammar School where students took part in The Kids Cancer Project’s Write A Book In A Day initiative, putting their Digital Literacy skills to task.

digital literacy in australian schools. kids at school on computer.
Credit: Snowy Mountains Grammar School, NSW

“Through digital collaboration they co-authored stories using shared documents and allocated graphic designers to design their ebook inclusive of digital illustrations drawn by the art directors of the team.

digital literacy in australian schools
Credit: Snowy Mountains Grammar School, NSW

The rise of digital creatives in the workplace requires us to always look for ways to build our students’ skills in this area.

Scott Frize, Head of Technologies

  • Understanding how to safely, ethically and respectfully communicate online with people they know, or people they do not know

    This could include anything as simple as learning how to address a teacher in an email, or being careful about the information they share online with unknown contacts.

Why is Digital Literacy in Australian Schools important?

Digital Literacy in Australian schools creates new ways for students to learn. Just like traditional literacy skills, students learn critical thinking in a digital form.

As highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to integrate with digital technology is important for students.

Learning Digital Literacy in Australian Schools helps open up future opportunities for your child.

The need for Digital Literacy skills in tertiary education

Upon entering tertiary or further education, your child becomes a ‘digital citizen’.

University requires students to understand and use technology to interact with the world. They are also required to apply critical thinking to question, evaluate and create using technology.

It is important for your child to learn Digital Literacy Skills early and prepare for university requirements including:

  • Understanding how to apply and use resources without plagiarising

  • Work in a team and communicate digitally (coordinating for group assessments, sharing information and data etc.)

  • Using digital technology to research and learn across different disciplines

  • Know how to address different university staff or students appropriately online

Digital Literacy skills in the workplace

Having strong Digital Literacy skills develops employability. Digital fluency skills were ranked second by Australian employers in the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2021.

Digital skills have been identified as the fastest growing skill required by employers.

In fact, companies are expanding to create new roles requiring the confident use of new technology. According to a new MIT report, approximately 156,000 new technology workers are needed for the rapid transformation of businesses.

Around 87% of jobs now require digital skills.

Digital Literacy skills in everyday life

With the advancement of technology, your child is required to live, learn and work in a digital society.

Digital safety is important for your child navigating social media, internet platforms and mobile devices.

Digital Literacy teaches your child how to do this in a safe and effective way. This includes situations of:

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

©2022 UMCO. All rights reserved