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Digital Literacy: Online Learning, AI, ChatGPT and more

By Vanessa Ciabatti

“Digital literacy” refers to the ability to confidently navigate the digital world, making it an increasingly crucial asset in today’s tech-savvy society. Australia, like much of the globe, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in technological development, with nearly all Australians embracing the use of digital tools in their daily lives. It’s important to not only harness their benefits, but to also understand the best practices for ensuring online safety and security.

Below, we explore the importance of digital literacy and its impact on one’s personal life and career.

The role of technology in our daily lives

Technology has seamlessly woven itself into our daily routines, transforming the way we navigate both our private and professional lives. On a personal level, platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have become trusted tools in the ways we communicate and connect with the world. Smartphones have become our on-the-go resource for entertainment and productivity; e-commerce allows us to purchase goods from the comfort of our homes; and streaming services have brought us vast libraries of movies, TV shows, and educational content right at our fingertips.

On the professional front, technology has also led to greater workplace efficiency and collaboration – both for remote and in-office employees, alike. This has included teleconferencing software such as Zoom, a now indispensable tool for virtual meetings among corporate and educational institutions. The rise of cloud computing services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, has enabled easier file storage and project management among teams. With most Australians now using social media (about 72% as of 2020) the advent of digital marketing also offers greater reach and engagement with one’s target consumer market.

The benefits of technology are undeniable, with its modern tools creating a paradigm shift in the ways we work, learn, and interact. Its evolving importance is not merely a reflection of our modern times, but also a glimpse into the future – where digital literacy has increasingly become a prerequisite for success and professional relevancy.

Understanding AI and ChatGPT

Leading our current technological revolution is the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). At its core, AI refers to the development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, and making critical decisions. With the ability to simplify routine, repetitive tasks, the benefits of this tech are both profound and far-reaching. According to Goldman Sachs, AI adoption could elevate global productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points over a 10-year period, leading to potential 7% (or $7 trillion USD) increase in the global GDP. Australian businesses have also reported remarkable benefits, with AI leading to an average revenue boost of $361,315 and time savings of about 30%.

One noteworthy example of AI in action is ChatGPT, a now popularly-used tool excelling in natural language processing and generation. ChatGPT is designed to engage in conversations, answer questions, and assist users in a wide range of writing tasks. It leverages the power of machine learning and large-scale language models to understand and generate human-like text, making it incredibly versatile. Whether it's helping with research, drafting content, providing recommendations, or acting as a virtual assistant, ChatGPT has the potential to streamline everyday tasks and enhance productivity. In fact, a recent MIT news report found that access to this tool decreased the time it took for workers to complete their tasks by 40%, with their output quality even rising by 18% - showcasing just how revolutionary it can be for both businesses and employees alike.

Digital privacy and security in Australia

However, while digital tools and platforms have their benefits, it’s also important to exercise vigilance. According to the Cybercrime in Australia 2023 government report, nearly half (47%) of Australian computer users experienced at least one cybercrime in the previous year, with 34% falling victim to actual data breaches. Such crimes are bound to grow as our digital connectivity expands, highlighting our critical need for robust cybersecurity measures and awareness.

In Australia, the significance of digital privacy and security is underscored by the Privacy Act 1988, a legislative piece regulating the handling of individuals’ personal information. This act empowers online users by granting them control over how their personal data is collected, used, and disclosed, ensuring transparency and accountability in data handling practices. While this serves to protect your data online, it’s still worth adopting healthy cyber habits to ensure your safety.

Consider best practices such as using strong, unique passwords for each online account, enabling two-factor authentication, regularly updating software and security patches, and being cautious about sharing personal information online. It’s also crucial to stay informed on the latest digital threats and trends and to exercise caution when interacting with unfamiliar websites, emails or text messages. Keeping these practices in mind can help you navigate the online world safely, ensuring its digital benefits are enjoyed without compromising your personal privacy and security.

How digital literacy can help enhance online learning

On top of improving workplace productivity, digital literacy could also enhance the online learning experience for digital students. By equipping learners with essential digital skills, they can better engage with the digital resources they’re given, collaborate effectively in virtual environments, leverage technology in their research, and present their ideas more effectively. It offers them the confidence to navigate these platforms with greater ease, creating smoother access to online education.

Likewise, online learning itself serves as a gateway to improving one’s digital literacy. While technology continues to transform our landscape, Australia is currently facing a growing skills gap in digital skills, making those with the right tech training and experience highly sought-after by companies. In fact, digital skills are currently the most in-demand among Australian employers, with a projected need for approximately 370,000 digital workers by 2026. This bodes plenty of opportunity for those looking to build rewarding careers in the tech space.

Numerous training providers now offer extensive selections of online IT courses to help individuals sharpen their digital literacy. This includes Upskilled, who currently offers a wide range of tech programs, ranging from bootcamps in automation to diplomas in cybersecurity. With nationally-recognised qualifications catered to students at all skill levels, there’s no better resource for helping you build your digital skills.  

Harness the power of online tools and boost your digital literacy today!

As mentioned, Upskilled offers a generous selection of IT courses tailored to varying skill levels and interests. Students can improve their digital literacy through a short course in general IT skills, or acquire further, specialised knowledge through certificates in programming, web development, cloud computing, and more. Best of all, each program is delivered completely online, helping you study at a time, place, and pace that suits you best.

Unlock the world of digital possibilities, and enquire with us on a course today.

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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.