Exploring the digital intelligence

Some decades ago (1983), Gardner initiated his theory about multiple intelligences, giving start to a persistent academic debate about types of intelligence, distinction from other concepts and instruments of development (with large echoes in pedagogy). However, even different schools of research took different paths (studying exclusively a certain type of intelligence, or trying to build frames of measurement), there is still room to find new paths or even develop new types of intelligence.

These new paths come not only from the large definition that Gardner proposed to intelligence, but from the linkage to content he performed when circumscribing the sphere of the concept: „Second, my intelligences are specifically linked to content. I claim that human beings have particular intelligences because of informational contents that exist in the world—numerical information, spatial information, information about other people.” (2011, p. xl).

Thus, if each type of intelligence is linked to content, then the first major change in types of information we should address, when trying to identify the changes occurred in the XXI century should be related to the „digital divide”. In our days, individuals receive and process information in a digital form, and their capacity to generate value products for community is essentially related to their capacity to use digital devices, to search, select and use digital information, to interpret social signals and interact with other beings via computer or smartphone.

Although the impact of the digital divide has been studied by some scholars (Deursen and van Dijk, 2010), a small number of studies explicitly inquired about the digital intelligence as a concept. But the omnipresence of digital content in studying or processing information, or  the impact of the online information and presence to the real life do oblige people to form abilities in managing digital contents. These are supplementary reasons for studying the digital intelligence as a definite type of intelligence that is different from individual to individual (in the spirit of Gardner definition), and is distinctly developed in generations (more developed in the so-called „Net Generation” than in previous ones).

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