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Write a paper of a topic/research area of interest in information studies. In the paper, you should highlight why socio-technical approaches are important pertaining to the topic/research area.


Digital literacy is stated as the major capability of any individual to search, evaluate as well as compose clear and relevant information via writing or any other medium on several digitalized platforms. In recent days, the mobile phones have turned out to be extremely effective and efficient foe evaluating digital literacy (Pinto, Cordon & Diaz, 2010). The following literature review outlines a brief discussion on digital literacy and its importance. The major advantages as well as disadvantages of digital literacy would be described in this report. Moreover, the socio technical approaches for this specific technology would also be explained in this report.

According to Mackey and Jacobson (2011), digital literacy can be defined as the method of utilizing, consuming as well as sharing of digital data. This digital literacy is the core ability of using the information and communication technologies for finding, evaluating, creating and communicating confidential data after requiring both technical and cognitive skills (Park, 2013). The most significant example of digital literacy is that when any individual is reading any book on Kindle, he or she is eventually considering the accuracy and perfectness of news report that is being linked within the newsfeed of social media or creation as well as sharing of YouTube video, when displaying digital literacy. It refers to encompassing of the wider range of new technologies and also the technology that is being utilized for the purpose of accessing that particular lesson. The major signs of being digitally literate individual significantly involves having the capability of finding the appropriate tools such as smart phones, mobile tablets and the Internet for consuming information or sharing and creating contents for others (Meyers, Erickson & Small, 2013). Any individual, who has the core capability of using technology for obtaining and sharing of information is termed as digitally literate.

As per Goodfellow and Lea (2013), digital literacy has become one of the most important and significant requirement in today’s technological world. In the field of education, this is the newest chapter that is being followed by several schools, colleges and their respective students. It has a deeper understanding of the various communal issues that are eventually emerging out of the digital technologies. This type of literacy helps to create a major awareness of the standard that is governing online behaviour. The vital thinking skill is being considered for the ultimate test (Hartley, 2017). Thus, it is termed as the proper combination of critical thinking, wider knowledge of several digital tools and social engagement.

Digital Literacy

The individuals, who are digitally literate are also termed as digital citizens. Another importance of digital literacy is that it helps to move beyond Google. Although, Google is a powerful tool and the individuals, who have the access to any computer as well as the Internet connection, eventually have the ability for finding the answers for any question like simple or complex problems. Mohammadyari and Singh (2015) state that, evaluation is much easier with this type of literacy and creativity is enhanced majorly. When these students get a deep understanding of the answers that are being found, the creative applications of the knowledge are present here. For students in academic field, cyber bullying is restricted and thus social norms are maintained eventually. Digital literacy helps to teach these distinct social norms or regulations easily and promptly. Moreover, the digital divisions are being closed substantially with such literacy (Greene, Seung & Copeland 2014). As the conceptions of digital world are being expanded, digital literacy is extremely important for the technological world.

The most significant and noteworthy advantages of digital literacy are as follows:

i) Saves Time: The first and the foremost advantage of digital literacy is that it saves time. Being digitally literate could easily save valuable time for the tasks that are to be done (Blikstad-Balas, 2015). Due to such time effectiveness, digital literacy has become extremely popular for the world.

ii) Helps in Learning Fast: The second important and significant benefit of digital literacy is that it helps to learn faster without any complexities.

iii) Cost Effectiveness: Digital literacy does not incur huge cost and even saves the costs of transportation. Thus, it is termed as cost effective in nature and is also responsible for providing efficiency for that particular individual.

iv) Provides Safer Technology: Since, the Internet connection is considered as one of the most unsafe technology and there is a chance of data theft (Murray & Pérez, 2014). However, digital literacy provides safer technology to the individuals.

v) Helps in Keeping Connected: When the social media has taken off, most of the individuals have started debating the significant effects of having on the original relationships, digital literacy helps in keeping connected to the other people.

vi) Helps in Taking Better Decisions: Digital literacy helps to clear the significant doubts for any individual and hence it is much effective for undertaking efficient and better decisions.

Importance of Digital Literacy

vii) Makes Technology Savvy: Digital literacy is responsible for making the individuals highly technology savvy in comparison to the others and thus they get better effectiveness in technological knowledge.

In spite of having such distinctive and important advantages, there are some of the major disadvantages that make this digital literacy vulnerable for the respective individuals. These significant and noteworthy disadvantages of digital literacy are given below:

i) Lack of Credibility as well as Validation of Sources: According to Tan (2013), the first and the foremost disadvantage of the digital literacy is that there is lack of credibility as well as validation of sources. Since, this type of knowledge is produced from the Internet sources, there is always a high chance that the data or the information is not up to the mark and accurate. Due to this particular issue, the respective individual gets superficial data and hence his or her knowledge is not proper.

ii) Cost of Equipment: The second important and significant disadvantage of this digital literacy is the higher cost of equipment (Colwell, Hunt-Barron & Reinking, 2013). Although the implementation or usage of equipment for digital literacy is much lower, the cost of equipment is extremely higher and it is not possible for every individual to afford it easily.

iii) Easy Cheating: Another important and noteworthy disadvantage of the digital literacy for students is easier cheating. The students due to the constant usage of Internet connection, gets scope for cheating and thus their education is hampered.

iv) Lesser Discovery Thinking: The third distinct demerit of digital literacy is that it provides lesser discovery thinking. Since, everything is available online, there is less scope for the individuals to think innovatively and thus

v) More Distractions: Voogt et al. (2013) has started that due to the involvement of technology in education, digital literacy is responsible for providing more distractions to the students or those individuals. These distractions are hence vulnerable for them.

vi) Dependency on Technology: The complete dependency on technology is the next important and significant disadvantage of digital literacy. This type of literacy could not be obtained without any involvement of technology and hence it becomes a major requirement for digital literacy. No individual could be digitally literate if that specific person does not have access to any digital device and Internet connection, hence making them completely dependent.

vii) Lack of Availability to Students: The seventh important and noteworthy disadvantage of the digital literacy is the lack of availability of students (Thompson et al., 2016). Since, they complete their tasks via online and hence the students are not available eventually. This often becomes a major issue for them and their teachers.

Advantages of Digital Literacy

This type of digital literacy is being evaluated by composition, grammar or typing skills of that particular individual. He or she even has the core ability of producing writings, designs, audio and images with the help of technology. As per Pangrazio (2016), previously, digital literacy focused on the digitalized skills as well as stand alone computers; however due to the advancement in the utilization of the social media and the Internet connection, focus has been shifted to the mobile devices. Digital literacy is also distinguished as being a major competency with computer assisted tools and technologies for that specific medium, which substantially predates the ubiquity of the personalized computers (Hinrichsen & Coombs, 2014). This computer literacy even covers few of the most important topics like numerical analysis, Boolean logic and information security that are extremely important to the computer literacy, although does not have the ubiquitous analog skills, predated to them.

The socio technical approach or system within any organizational development is the approach for complicated organizational work designing, which could easily recognize or identify the proper interaction within technology and people. The complex infrastructures are being checked and interactions are observed with the human behaviour (Murray & Pérez, 2014). These socio technical systems eventually pertain to those specified theories that are regarding the socialized aspects of society, people as well as technical aspects of the organizational processes. There are several approaches of socio technical systems for pertaining digital literacy. The best example of this particular approach is the software based technology that is incrementally shaping the social as well as economic field and the subsequent requirement for becoming more effective helps in viewing the computer science elements like algorithms. Digital literacy or information literacy is considered as a basic practice of socio technology (Mohammadyari & Singh, 2015). As socio technical approach is responsible for recognition of the interaction between individuals and technologies, it is extremely effective for digital literacy. The most significant approaches of socio technology are as follows:

i) Implementing Socio Technical System for Communication: The first and the foremost approach of social technology is the proper implementation of socio technical systems for accurate communication with other individuals. As per Hartley (2014), the electronic mails, blogs as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the most popular examples of such systems, which could be effective for digital literacy. Moreover, the complications regarding communications are also resolved with this approach.

Disadvantages of Digital Literacy

ii) Starting of Online Classrooms: Online classroom is the second approach of socio technology for pertaining digital literacy. These types of classrooms is the perfect example of technology and social approach. The students get basic knowledge from these classrooms and the teachers could easily teach them with the help of technology (Meyers, Erickson & Small, 2013). Moreover, the students would also get an online learning environment, hence social environment is maintained with technology. Thus, they are becoming digitally literate. The most important advantage of this type of classroom is that it saves time for both student and the teacher since they do not have to visit to the respective institutions.

iii) Online Books Sharing Platforms: Another effective and important approach of social technology is the sharing of online books (Park et al., 2013). Several individuals can easily share their books online with other readers with the help of a distinctive platform. This type of platform helps the user to share his or her book even on rent and gaining cost effectiveness. Moreover, the person, who has taken the books also gets benefits as he or she does not have to buy that particular book and is getting it online. One of such popular and important platform is Glose. It is a reading application, which allows several users to gain and provide access to these electronic books (Mackey & Jacobson, 2011). It is extremely user friendly and could be used by every individual after downloading it. This particular approach helps to pertain the digital literacy to higher extent and without any complexity.


Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that digital literacy does not replaces the traditional forms of literacy and not on building on the skills, which could eventually form the proper foundation of the traditional forms of literacy. It normally overlaps computer literacy since most of the technologies of digital media need some of the computer competency levels. The above literature review has clearly outlined the entire concept of digital literacy with relevant details. The several advantages, disadvantages are also described in this report to understand the scenario. Moreover, several socio technical approaches of digital literacy are also provided with proper description.


Blikstad-Balas, M. (2015). Digital literacy in upper secondary school–what do students use their laptops for during teacher instruction?. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 10 (Jubileumsnummer), 122-137.

Colwell, J., Hunt-Barron, S., & Reinking, D. (2013). Obstacles to developing digital literacy on the Internet in middle school science instruction. Journal of Literacy Research, 45(3), 295-324.

Goodfellow, R., & Lea, M. R. (Eds.). (2013). Literacy in the digital university: Critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology. Routledge.

Greene, J. A., Seung, B. Y., & Copeland, D. Z. (2014). Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning. Computers & Education, 76, 55-69.

Hartley, J. (2017). Uses of YouTube Digital Literacy and the Growth of Knowledge. In The Uses of Digital Literacy (pp. 110-131). Routledge.

Hinrichsen, J., & Coombs, A. (2014). The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21.

Mackey, T.P. & Jacobson, T.E. (2011). Reframing information literacy as a metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries, 72(1), pp. 62-78.

Meyers, E. M., Erickson, I., & Small, R. V. (2013). Digital literacy and informal learning environments: an introduction. Learning, media and technology, 38(4), 355-367.

Mohammadyari, S., & Singh, H. (2015). Understanding the effect of e-learning on individual performance: The role of digital literacy. Computers & Education, 82, 11-25.

Murray, M. C., & Pérez, J. (2014). Unraveling the digital literacy paradox: How higher education fails at the fourth literacy. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 11, 85.

Pangrazio, L. (2016). Reconceptualising critical digital literacy. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 37(2), 163-174.

Park, Y. J. (2013). Digital literacy and privacy behavior online. Communication Research, 40(2), 215-236.

Pinto, M., Cordon, J. A., & Diaz, R.G. (2010). Thirty Years of Information Literacy (1977-2007): A Terminological, Conceptual and Statistical Analysis. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 42 (1), 3-19.

Tan, E. (2013). Informal learning on YouTube: Exploring digital literacy in independent online learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 38(4), 463-477.

Thompson, K. M., Jaeger, P. T., Taylor, N. G., Subramaniam, M., & Bertot, J. C. (2014). Digital literacy and digital inclusion: Information policy and the public library. Rowman & Littlefield.

Voogt, J., Erstad, O., Dede, C., & Mishra, P. (2013). Challenges to learning and schooling in the digital networked world of the 21st century. Journal of computer assisted learning, 29(5), 403-413.

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