Conceptualizing citizen's digital literacy through everyday internet use

Mei Mei Wu, Ying Hsang Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Digital opportunity which is the solution for digital divide offers three levels of accessibility to the citizen, namely, physical accessibility of computer hardware and network, the content accessibility and the intellectual accessibility in which the cognitive as well as operating skills are critical to digital literacies. The purpose of the study is to propose a framework for citizen's digital literacy to fill the gap of the current model of digital opportunity which emphasizes physical accessibility without specific action plan for intellectual accessibility. By analyzing the daily activities of Internet use and identifying the groups of these activities, we propose a conceptual framework of citizen's digital literacy. Secondary data from a national-wide survey, the fifth phase of the fourth year survey of the TSCS Research Project (Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS), 2009) is used. Descriptive statistics, chi-squared, logistic regression and multidimensional scaling analyses are conducted to reveal the citizen's use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) over time and of which the relationship with the citizen's demographic data. The results suggest an overview of primary online information activities engaged by citizens, including (1) gaining information of traveling, information technology, news and knowledge acquisition, (2) consuming and finance, and (3) social networking and communication. Although information activities for learning and work purposed in the survey have not been significant which may be due to the design of the survey questions, findings from multidimensional scaling suggest that there seems to be a hierarchy of information needs, similar to Maslow's (1943) basic needs, manifested in Internet use activities. Different from the traditional approach of information literacy focusing on information seeking sills, digital literacy goes beyond to the territory of doing, actual conducting of daily activities by using ICTs. A conceptual framework as well as a working model for citizen's digital literacy is suggested for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Applications -Volume 1 Proceedings of the International Computer Symposium ICS 2012 Held at Hualien,Taiwan
EditorsJain Lakhmi, Chang Ruay-Shiung, Peng Sheng-Lung
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
ISSN (Print)2190-3018
ISSN (Electronic)2190-3026

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Computer Science


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