I was fortunate to be an education student at a time when much initial work on digital literacies and the closely allied area of critical literacy was underway, so I learnt how to share these principles with my students, how to build students' skills through various projects and activities, and how to assess whether they were using these skills in their own time online.
Now that I am teaching in a non-English speaking country, my role does not offer the same opportunities, and I worry that no one else is filling this gap for students here either. My understanding is that the majority of the world's digital users do not speak English as their first language, or at all, so they may also be missing out on building digital literacies, and may be making poor or less effective choices as a result.
I am looking forward to reading Netsmart by Howard Rheingold, not just for my students and family, but for myself too. From the reviews, other resources, videos and tweets, I am sure it will be a valuable addition to this critically important field.
"Digital literacies can leverage the Web’s architecture of participation, just as the spread of reading skills amplified collective intelligence five hundred years ago. Today’s digital literacies of attention, participation, collaboration, crap detection, and network smarts can make the difference between being empowered or manipulated, serene or frenetic. Most importantly, as people who are trying to get along day to day in a hyper-scale, warp-speed civilization that seems so often to be beyond anyone’s control, digital literacy is something powerful we can learn and exercise for ourselves and each other.