Digital Literacy to Citizenship

From the recommended readings for module 2 I read Netsafe. (2016) “From literacy to fluency to citizenship: Digital citizenship in Education”and it really got me thinking about what digital citizenship and literacy is. I have never thought about it and took for granted my access to technology, I can manage my whole study and submit assessments online as I have easy access to all the required resources. But not just that I am a digital citizen as defined by Netsafe (2016) I have the skills, knowledge and attitude in order to participate in society as an active, connected, lifelong learner.  Figure 1 is taken from the report and visually illustrates this.

Figure 1 The structure of Digital Fluency leading to Digital Citizenship (Netsafe 2016)

I take it for granted that these foundational skills were taught throughout my education. But what about the people who don’t or didn’t receive this digital education. Brown (2017c) states that “52% of the world does not have access to the internet”. This is a huge percentage of the population which don’t have the opportunity to become digital citizens. This is what’s called the “Digital Divide” as defined by Ragnedda & Muschert (2013) and is something I would like to research further into later in my studies.  

Focusing on the 48% who do have access to the internet how does one become a Digital Citizen? According to Alexander, Adams & Cummins (2016) you need to become digitally literate in order to become a digital citizen. Embedding digital within learning from an early age, encouraging attitudes, knowledge and digital skills developing a digital fluency as shown in figure 1.

In my teaching I have an assumption that all my students can pick up a computer and recognise Windows and Microsoft Word, so I do not need to teach them how to use a computer prior to giving them a task. Figure 2 taken from Alexander, Adams & Cummins (2016) explains the 3 different modes to digital literacy. Whilst it doesn’t state that there is an order, I know with my students I assume they have universal literacy, I teach creative literacy and encourage literacy across all disciplines as a result of their study.


Figure 2 Three Modes of Digital Literacy (Alexander, Adams & Cummins 2016). 

This reflection has highlighted the importance to understand a student’s level of digital literacy before assuming they have full digital citizenship.


Reference List

Alexander, B., Adams Becker, S., & Cummins, M. (2016). Digital literacy: An NMC Horizon project strategic brief. Volume 3.3, October 2016. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from

Brown, M. (2017c). Critical review of frameworks for digital literacy: Beyond the flashy,  flimsy and faddish – part 3. Retrieved from

Netsafe. (2016). From literacy to fluency to citizenship: Digital citizenship in Education. Retrieved from

Ragnedda, M., & Muschert, G. W. (Eds.). (2013). The digital divide: The Internet and social inequality in international perspective. Routledge.


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