The Digital Literacy Gap
What is digital literacy? The American Library Association’s digital-literacy task force offers this definition: “Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” Today, digital literacy employers and educators across the globe take digital literacy for granted. That’s why it is essential to recognize that some disadvantaged students don’t have access to a personal computer at home.
These students often complete assignments on laptops borrowed from adult family members, or in more extreme cases, on smartphones. In these situations, students aren’t able to explore their interests or develop critical digital security skills. Imagine if the first time you had access to your own computer was when your employer-provided it. How would you learn best practices for operational security? You would likely get minimal information through onboarding and learn the rest through trial by fire. That’s certainly less than ideal.
So what can employers do to help bridge this gap? By investing in easy-to-use, comprehensive network security tools, employers can reduce friction when onboarding new employees from disadvantaged backgrounds. Having a digital safety net buys time for them to receive the proper training they need to succeed.