International Literacy Day: Literacy in a digital world

Literacy, in its most basic sense, is defined as the ability to read, to write and to count. In time, its meaning has broadened to comprise a wide range of skills and abilities that are needed to fully and actively be part of society. Undeniably, literacy has become crucial in empowering children, young people and adults alike, and ensuring that they acquire those skills and competencies necessary to help them contribute to society and improve their lives.

poster of literacy dayInternational Literacy Day was first celebrated on 8 September 1946, which underlines the importance granted to the acquisition of literacy skills and competencies. To keep pace with today's technological developments and innovations, the 2017 edition focuses on literacy in a digital world and raises awareness of digital skills education for all. 

Even if children and young people, who have grown up with technology, find their way quite easily when navigating the online world, they still need to have a deeper understanding of how the internet ecosystem works. Likewise, sound digital literacy skills can guide them in critically assessing online content, choosing right from wrong, and becoming creators of positive content rather than mere consumers.

The role of parents, educators and carers in educating and helping children and young people to achieve their full potential is nonetheless significant, but they need to be digitally competent as well and be open to learning new things throughout their life to be able to pass on the knowledge. As such, education, empowerment and awareness are key!

International Literacy Day also strives to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and more specifically of Goal 4 on Quality Education that aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all", including the achievement of "literacy and numeracy".

The day coincides provides a great opportunity to showcase many of the resources from across the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) in Europe to support the teaching and learning of online safety and digital literacy skills in the classroom. Visit the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal to learn more about the resources available, including the newly launched campaign on positive online content, which will see an awareness week taking place at the end of September 2017.

You can follow the celebrations of International Literacy Day via social media, using the hashtag: #LiteracyDay.


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Media literacy in audiovisual media services

  • News
  • 14/03/2016
  • BIK team

In a converging media world where children and young people have increasing access to digital devices – from videos on demand to connected TVs – media literacy has grown to be an intrinsic requirement for all audiovisual media users.