The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency: Revisión

The Difference Between Digital Literacy and Digital Fluency

Literacy and fluency have to do with our ability to use a technology to achieve a desired outcome in a situation using the technologies that are available to us.


Four stages of competence

In psychology, the four stages of competence, or the "conscious competence" learning model, relates to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill.

The four stages

  1. Unconscious incompetence
    The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.[2] The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.[3]
  2. Conscious incompetence
    Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.[4]
  3. Conscious competence
    The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.[3]
  4. Unconscious competence
    The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned
    People: The Next Step in Social Software Adoption.

The adoption of social software (a.k.a. social media, social computing, enterprise 2.0, etc) within organizations seems to be taking the following general path: focusing first on the tools, then on the broader purpose for those tools, and next, people and their skills with the technology and the ways that those skills affect their relationships with each other.



Inspiration Fluency and Motivation In the Digital Age

Perfectionism and Innovation Fluency

As a result of our research, we have found it helpful to consider innovation as a fluency which can be broken down into three major sets of skills:

  1. The ability to critically reflect on the past and present situation
  2. The ability to generate creative ideas for a possible future
  3. The ability to openly experiment with imperfect ideas early and often before they can guarantee that their ideas will succeed

 Introduction To the SociaLens Digital Fluency Framework

The right balance of digital fluencies is an important but often overlooked factor of an organization’s success, along with the more traditional factors of proper technology selection, strategy, and organizational structures. To help organizations make sense of this, we developed the SociaLens Digital Fluencies Framework.




For this blog post, we have included simple definitions for each of the six fluencies to get you acclimated. As this series of blog posts progresses, we will reveal the more specific definitions..



Tactical Fluencies

(these enable a person to get things done at the individual level)

Information fluency—The ability to gather information, to ensure that information is credible and relevant enough to then act upon it and to share it with other people.

Interaction fluency—The ability to critically choose and be confident in one’s representation of identity (or identities), and the related ability to engage effectively with groups of people.

Innovation fluency—The ability to critically reflect on past and present situations, to creatively imagine future scenarios, and the ability to make those creative scenarios a reality.


Strategic Fluencies


(these give a person the ability to enable or constrain other people to get things done at the group level)

Inspiration fluency—The ability to serve as or provide motivation for others, based on the ability to understand and recognize what stimulates people to act.

Involvement fluency—The ability to help other people be aware and make sense of their situation, and to match other people’s strengths with that situation in a way that empowers them to accomplish their objectives.

Imagination fluency—The ability to look ahead at what a group might face or might do, and the ability to get that group to move toward that future.
Before you go, here are a few important tips for thinking about this framework:
Fluency Has More Than One Level. Fluency is a level of skill and comfort. It helps to think of it in two general levels. In most cases, a person must achieve the first level in order to reach the second:
  • Literacy—the ability to know how and what to do, like knowing how to post a message online.
  • Fluency—the ability to know when and why, like knowing when it is appropriate to post a particular message, given the context.
No Fluency Is An Island. No fluency can be usefully considered in isolation from the others in a person or in a group. For example, a leader who exhibits questionable inspiration fluency by assuming that all her employees are motivated by money may be squashing those employees’ desire to improve their innovation fluency by experimenting with low-cost, personally-rewarding digital projects.
Fluencies are a Result of Nature and Nurture. A person’s fluency is a result of both who they are, as well as what they’ve experienced and what they’ve learned. This means that fluencies can be developed, but that different people will develop those fluencies differently.
Digital Fluencies Aren’t All About Digital. It is important to note that none of these fluencies are completely unique to the digital age. People have always needed a form of information fluency, for example. But the rapid digitally-related changes in the world have changed how some of these fluencies look, and the mix that is appropriate for different situations.


Indicators that the People In Your Organization Might Have Interaction Fluency (using Twitter as an example):

  1. You are able to quickly take in a situation, determine things like the broader context, the power structures at work and the potential implications for action or inaction in the situation. For example, a person with high fluency would be able to look at a digital conversation by co-workers and within a few seconds figure out the what’s really going on politically, psychologically, etc.
  2. You are able to use your critical insights to rapidly generate lots of creative ideas for how to change that situation. A person with high fluency would be able to, within a few seconds, be able to generate three or more different creative ideas for contributions that she could make to the conversation.
  3. You are able to put your ideas out there in ways that avoid catastrophic failure, but that welcome an acceptable level of risk. A person with high fluency would be comfortable experimenting by adding one or two of those creative ideas to the conversation without a full knowledge of the outcome.

A Note on Interdependence

All three of these elements are highly inter-dependent. A person who is comfortable experimenting, but who is not skilled at critically assessing the situation may be taking risks of which they are unaware, potentially resulting in catastrophe. A person who is only comfortable critically assessing a situation and generating creative ideas may never see those ideas implemented. Strong innovation fluency requires all three of these, if not in an individual, then in a group.