The Digital Literacy Basics section tests your knowledge of basic Internet and Web related terminology, computer hardware, peripherals (e.g. printer, keyboard, mouse), accessories and some consumer technology. You will also find questions related to popular computer software.
Why Digital Literacy Basics is Important
This is a critical section of the assessment, because basic knowledge about computers and the Internet is fundamental before one can fully utilize all the products and online services available today. When people refer to the digital divide, this is one of the areas that people refer to – how do we get computers into the hands of more people so that they can learn the foundational skills of how computers work and the types of devices in use today. Hardware and software are not perfect; things sometimes break or don’t quite work the way they’re designed. Being able to troubleshoot basic computer problems or install software is critical to being a digitally literate. Without this foundation it would be similar to learning how to drive a car, but not knowing how to pump your own gas – you would only be self-sufficient until your tank ran empty; then you would be sitting on the side of the road with an expensive piece of metal. Every skill in life comes with a set of tools. Knowing that you have the right tools, and knowing if your tools are working properly is critical to effectively utilizing your skill. A golfer can’t play with broken clubs. A carpenter can’t build without a good hammer and nails. Being digitally savvy requires that you know and use the tools of the trade whether it be a laptop running Windows 8, a Linux desktop or an iPad. Knowing the basics allows you to quickly adapt even when not using your own technology. Example: If you know how to access your Gmail from home, it’s a pretty good chance you’ll know how to check your email when traveling using another computer.