I read recently a very interesting article on https://edtechfactotum.com/ about Digital Fluency vs Digital Literacy by Clint Lalonde. Why this was so interesting to me was in relation to that in my writings on Adult Learning with technology I discuss the challenges that an adult learners faces when entering the world of learning after a significant break, especially with leaps and bounds that technology plays in learning these days. What never occurred to me was that the facilitator could very well be in the same position.
An extract from the article explains in a simple way the difference between digital literacy and digital fluency:
How is digital fluency different from digital literacy? In learning a foreign language, a literate person can read, speak, and listen for understanding in the new language. A fluent person can create something in the language: a story, a poem, a play, or a conversation. Similarly, digital literacy is an understanding of how to use the tools; digital fluency is the ability to create something new with those tools.
When applied to a facilitator of a course, if they are not fluent in the technology, especially with generation of learners that are now entering the work force and have certain expectations, it’s likely to cause high levels.
There are other ways to be digitally fluent. I would say being able to move nimbley and confidently from one technology to another is another example of digital fluency. For example, a digitally literate instructor may have the skills to setup and configure tools within the confines of their LMS, and perhaps even understand when to use those tools to achieve a specific outcome, but then struggle when confronted with a different set of tools or different platforms that don’t work the same way. Whereas a digitally fluent instructor can comfortably and quickly move from tool to tool with confidence, and with an understanding of how and why the technologies may be different. A digitally fluent instructor is able to compare, contrast, and analyze differences in technologies, and understand how those differences might impact their pedagogy, and adjust accordingly. This ability to adjust accordingly is, to me, one of the biggest traits that distinguishes the digitally fluent instructor from the digitally literate one.