After last year, during which more of us than ever ventured online as remote working develops into the norm for the foreseeable future, digital and technological literacy have become important topics.

But the historic shift online brought about by the pandemic has not only signaled what the future might look like in terms of our work and professional lives, with many experts predicting that remote working is here to stay, it has also brought into sharp relief a growing digital skills gap that appears to cross not only generational but also socio-economic lines.

This digital skills gap is not limited to our professional lives, however, as even within educational settings, the shift to remote learning has similarly highlighted the issues with technological literacy that many countries across the world are facing.

Similarly, technological literacy is also important in helping to navigate the recreational context. With more of our social lives and free time spent in online environments, these skills also allow us to socialize and unwind. For example, digital and technological literacy could be useful in helping us to use a live gaming portal to help us find the safest online casinos like Betspin.com.

With so many new online casinos bursting onto the scene in recent years, this kind of digital literacy will be important in helping us to safely navigate this space. In particular, technological literacy helps individual users to build up responsible gaming practices and to find the most trusted casinos.

Lack of literacy can expose users to illegitimate sites, such as one that uses unregulated games without independently confirmed RNG. Equally though, it may cause people to be overcautious. A lack of understanding leads to   over qualifying the risks  involved in a situation, so users miss out on interesting experiences or bonuses due to mistrust in a trustworthy system.

What is digital literacy?

At the heart of this growing digital skills gap is what is known as   digital literacy . While the basic understanding of digital literacy typically considers it as capturing the ability to use a computer proficiently, it also has a much broader meaning. Understood in its wider sense, it is an umbrella term for a range of different competencies that include things such as the ability to locate, assess, create and communicate information, as well as skill in using the Internet.

Technological   literacy , then, goes far beyond mastering the basic functionality of digital tools and involves giving individuals the means to understand the processes behind a particular digital task, and to be able to transfer this understanding across various types of digital platforms. This might include creating videos, mobile apps, podcasts and many other forms of digital media. It might also involve empowering individuals to navigate the digital space. And in an age where fake news has become a hot-button issue, these skills are becoming increasingly important.

With the steady movement towards automation in the workplace threatening the employment prospects of millions across the globe, digital literacy has become increasingly important in the fight to keep workers in jobs. In this context, digital literacy is not only about managing and navigating our educational and working lives in the present, it is also about securing our place in the economy of the future.

Increasing digital literacy in schools

Digital literacy is important in the push towards creating what are known as digital citizens: individuals who can use technology responsibly to interact with the world around them.

This not only requires us to have a carefully considered curriculum in place, built around providing students with the proper digital literacy skills. But additionally, it also means that we need a well-trained workforce of teachers who are proficient in the various aspects of technological literacy.

Meeting both these needs is no easy task. According to analysts and researchers, it will require investments   worth many billions of dollars . One particularly burdensome cost will be ensuring the students are properly equipped with the appropriate technology to facilitate this, which is something that will entail a significant upfront cost for the US government.

Digital literacy in 2020: end of the beginning or beginning of the end?

With all this said, 2020 was the year in which the multifaceted issues surrounding digital and technological literacy were brought into sharp relief. With hundreds of millions of people across the world forced to conduct their work, schooling and social lives at home, deep divisions in both access to and proficiency with technology have been revealed. In this context, the existing socio-economic divisions within society have only deepened. As such, one of the keys to creating a more just and equal society in the future will be unlocking access to the power of digital and technological tools.