New Literacies for Digital Citizenship
The meaning of citizenship has usually been associated with the power of individuals in the process of social decision-making. Throughout the history, effective citizenship has required functional literacy skills as the fundamental factor for attending societal life. In the past, the 3Rs (writing, reading, and arithmetic) were considered to be enough for a normal citizen because people could communicate satisfactorily based on these skills in public spheres. They could also benefit through traditional literacy skills from the mainstream communication channels like newspaper, radio, and television. Depending on the linear characteristic of the mass media, participation of citizens was limited in the social arena. However, new communication technologies have changed the nature and scope of citizenship. New kinds of literacies have emerged regarding the new media such as Internet, Web, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, mobile technologies and so forth. Today’s citizens are expected to attend social processes anytime and anywhere. Thus, they are required to have mastery in new literacies which allow them to use all kinds of emerging technologies to share their views and make their voices heard. In fact, this comes as a requisite for real democracy because digital citizenship is largely based on contemporary literacy skills in which the technology plays an important role. This paper elaborates various kinds of new literacies and discusses their relationships with the current practices of digital citizenship from a technological perspective.