Digital Literacy If a person were to sit in front of a desktop computer, having never seen one before, with the goal of emailing their doctor to schedule an appointment using their new patient portal, they would presumably have no skills for using the device to accomplish this goal. They would not know the intricacies of signing up for an email address for their physician to be able to establish an account for them, much less be able to access it. However, if this person had access to the technology needed and begins to gain experience and understanding of how to use that technology, they are increasing their digital literacy. Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. As the person begins to develop these skills, the technology can add more value to the person’s life, which begins to address the perceived value of the importance of a computer, other digital devices or the internet to an individual’s life. There are 5 key characteristics of a digitally literate person. The digitally literate person: Possesses the variety of skills – technical and cognitive – required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats Can use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, and judge the quality of that information Understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning, personal privacy, and stewardship of information Uses these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion, the general public Uses these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community Recent research shows that digital and computer skills training increases new internet subscribers desire to use the internet for ongoing learning, increasing their job skills and searching for jobs.