Enhancing Digital Literacy

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy is more than knowing how to send a text or watch a music video. It means having the knowledge and ability to use a range of technology tools for varied purposes. A digitally literate person can use technology strategically to find and evaluate information, connect and collaborate with others, produce and share original content, and use the Internet and technology tools to achieve many academic, professional, and personal goals.

The Digital Literacies Course (DIG/IT)

Skillful use of a range of technology is essential for success after high school-as newly graduated young adults continue their education, enter the workforce, or juggle school and employment-which is why Digital Literacies, a credit-bearing technology course for students in transfer high schools, is the cornerstone of the Connected Foundations program. The goals of Digital Literacies are to teach students digital literacy and prepare them for college and careers. The course is housed in a social, "gamified" learning environment called DIG/IT where students complete quests, interact, earn badges and points for their achievements, and "level up" through four content domains relevant to students' personal, academic, and professional lives:

  • LIVE – digital citizenship, skills and safety
  • LEARN – college and career explorations
  • EARN – personal financial literacy
  • PLAY – arts, culture, and fun in the city

Video tutorial: Welcome to DIG/IT!

As part of their DIG/IT experience, students plan, design, create, and present projects at an end-of-term "Expo" at their school. At the Expo, each student teaches skills and knowledge they have learned in the course to a guest, typically a family member or an important person in their life. After successfully presenting at the Expo, each student receives a free netbook computer from program partner CFY. Eligible students and their families can also sign up for discounted home Internet service from Cablevision or Time Warner Cable.

Digital Literacies was created by the NYC Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Readiness and LearningTimes, with contributions from Common Sense Media, the New York State Department of Labor, and other partners. Participating teachers receive on-site support and professional development from the Connected Foundations team and from Teaching Matters.