STOP Cyberbullying Summit 2015

Digital natives- Digital Literacy

Digital literacy also moves the focus from ICT skills to the ability to access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, develop new understandings and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society” (DETE, 2008, p.3).
Prensky (2001) defined the twenty first Century children as “Digital natives” born into a Digital World who state that their knowledge and interest in technology is seldom catered for in school. He coined the term “digital immigrants” to describe those who are not born into a digital era and who cannot speak the digital language. Palfrey and Gasser (2008) challenged the concept of “digital immigrants” by developing another term a “digital settler” which implies that one is not native to the digital age but has embraced technology and can offer guidance to younger natives. Rushkoff (2001) states that “Children are native to cyberspace and we, as adults and teachers, are immigrants’’ (p.4) adopting ICT at a later stage in life. Pendergast (2011) counter argues that digital natives may have normative button handling skills, but they do not necessarily possess competent information-searching skills.Hegarty et al. (2010) argue that there is significance in ranking digital literacy alongside reading and writing as an essential skill. They state that those who are digitally literate “use, manage, create, quote and share sources of digital information more confidently while engaging in problem solving and critical reflection.” (p. 7)
Roughly 30% of cyberbullying is accidental (or “inadvertent cyberbullying”). Sent to the wrong person, written too fast to make sense, an intended joke or auto-corrected to mean something entirely different – these 30% of cases could disappear if we teach digital literacy. Another 12% involves stolen or abused passwords, account takeovers or misappropriated devices (such as using someone’s cell phone or gaming device without permission to set them up). So digital hygiene skills, together with digital literacy, would reduce cyberbullying today by 42% (Cyberbullying Summit 2015)

If you are targeted by a cyberbully:

  • STOP!
  • Block!
  • and Tell!


Stop Cyberbullying Summit , 2015. Available from:!stopcyberbullying-irish-working-group/cp33 . [7 MAY 2015].

Hegarty, B.,Penman, M.,Kelly, O., Jeffrey, L., Coburn, D., McDonald, J.(2010) Digital Information Literacy: Supported Development of Capability in Tertiary Environments. New Zealand

Pendergast, D. (2011) Interaction of societal development and communication technology. International journal of Home Economics. 4(1). (

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press. 9(5), pp.1-9

Rushkoff, D. (2001) personal communication IN North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Metiri Group (2003) enGauge® 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age. USA, p.4.

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