Computer And Digital Literacy Differences


Nowadays, literacy has a double meaning – initially, it was the ability to read, write and communicate. Moreover, a more specific meaning implies the ability of a person to perform those actions without making mistakes. Computer literacy has a similar definition and results from the development of technology and modern society. A person who is computer literate has abilities to deal with modern computers. Understanding the information received, the meaning of actions when interacting with computers, and the ability to handle peripheral devices are integral to computer literacy.


Digital literacy is a more recent and profound concept in the same context. It implies a person’s ability to navigate the digital space, understand the meaning and consequences of all actions, and avoid cyber threats. The primary skills that are signs of digital literacy are:

  • An adaptation to new technologies and their rapid adoption;
  • The ability to explain own actions in the digital space;
  • The ability to teach others by interacting with them;
  • The ability to identify trustworthy sources based on independent analysis;
  • Knowledge of the most common digital resources and terminology.

In terms of mindset, an ordinary person pays attention to information content, whereas the mindset of a digitally literate person first analyzes its origin, possible purpose, and authorship. Such a person understands the necessity of safety in the local and global network, keeps track of the privacy settings and passwords, and observes information hygiene: does not distribute or consume incorrect or harmful information on the Internet. While computer and digital literacy used to be synonymous, the gap between the two is growing as technology advances. Just as basic literacy now is about using language and writing correctly, digital literacy requires more than computer skills – it requires using mind and safety rules.


Barry University makes several substantial commitments, all related to intellectual, social, and spiritual development. Like the physical world, the digital world is subject to certain problems but constantly evolving. It is only natural that everyone these days should have digital literacy, just as ordinary literacy has long been the norm. Today the Internet became an integral part of our lives. By following digital literacy’s logical rules and actions, society can become more humane and unbiased, which is also part of the university’s mission. In addition, it is not easy to imagine the modern person without digital skills – learning, personal growth, and development are priorities for our university.