IS ITALY DIGITAL LITERATE?
This year the Digital Economic and Society Index (DESI) of the European Commission put Italy at the last position in the EU regarding the diffusion of digital skills among people. While it is second to last for the use of the internet and activities carried on there.
42% of Italians between 16 and 74 years old have only basic computer skills. Internet is mostly used for recreational purposes. The small and medium-sized enterprises which utilize the web for online selling are only 10%. While just 32% of Italians use the online service of public administration.
There is an underlying problem. Computer education is poor, and the full exploitation of the internet potential is far from what it should be.
The web is an important resource, and we need it to create a digital society.
Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and compose clear information through writing and other media on various digital platforms. Digital literacy is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills, and the ability to produce text, images, audio, and designs using technology.
The American Library Association defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”
Similar to other expanding definitions of literacy that recognize cultural and historical ways of making meaning, digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy, and instead builds upon and expands the skills that form the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Digital literacy should be a part of the path to knowledge.
Computer literacy is defined as the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently, with skill levels ranging from elementary use to computer programming and advanced problem-solving.
Computer literacy may be distinguished from computer programming, which primarily focuses on the design and coding of computer programs rather than the familiarity and skill in their use. Understanding how computers work and operate, in fact, is a valuable component.
To increase their computer literacy, computer users should distinguish which computer skills they want to improve and learn to be more purposeful and accurate in their use of these skills. Users can discover more computer functions that are worth using.
Arguments for the use of computers in classroom settings, and thus for the promotion of computer literacy, are primarily vocational or practical. Computers are essential in the modern-day workplace. The instruction of computer literacy in education is intended to provide students with employable skills.
Computer literacy projects have support in many countries because they conform to the general political and economic principles of those countries’ public and private organizations. The United Kingdom and the United States are the spokesmen of many other countries that have created initiatives to improve national computer literacy rates.
PROPOSALS FOR THE FUTURE
The Ministry for Digital Innovation (MID) is already working through the strategy “Italia 2025” to fill these lacks and trying to catch up with the EU average. Anyway, some aspects may be powered even more.
Tortuga proposes to involve more public and territorial entities in the development of digital training projects for people and small companies all over the national territory. Particular attention is paid to categories such as unemployed and immigrants, who are more at risk of digital exclusion.
Technology is a key tool to put into practice social distancing, which, unfortunately, we cannot do without. In this uncertain scenario, where Covid-19 does not let us go out of our home, digital skills are going to make difference and will become a must-have.