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Digital Literacy For Dummies by Faithe Wempen

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Introduction

So, you’ve picked up this book, and perhaps you’re wondering exactly what digital literacy means. Let’s break that phrase down. Digital refers to the binary digits that computers work with (1s and 0s). When something is digital, it means that it’s made up of numeric values — and it usually means that it’s computerized, or at least electronic. Literacy means being able to communicate in a certain language. For example, someone who is English-literate can read and write the English language. Similarly, someone who is digitally literate is fluent in using digital technologies, including computers.

So you don’t think you use computer technology that much? Think again. Computers are everywhere, including in places you might not expect or think about.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’re an average white-collar worker in North America.

You wake up to a digital alarm clock.

You hop in your car (with a computer-controlled engine system) and drive to your office, sliding your name badge into a slot in the door to gain access to the building.

At work you sit at a desk and use a desktop computer to plan a budget for a new project, and then you have a video conference with coworkers in another office to go over the details.

On your lunch break, you go through a fast-food restaurant, where an employee touches a computer screen on his cash register to input your order.

That afternoon you drive to meet with a client, and you use a GPS unit to help you find the address.

On the ...

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