I found the terms digital skills, literacy and fluency are ill-defined and overlapping. Different writers use the terms in ways that are subtly different or even entirely contradictory.
My broad brush definitions would be that digital skills are the ‘technical’ proficiencies that allow a user to access digital media, tools and resources. For example, being familiar with the operation of a web browser, recognising standard user interface conventions or the basics of search engines.
By contrast, digital literacy implies the thoughtful application of digital skills to acquire, create and distribute information. In this I would include some ability to make judgements about the relative merits of sources, the ability to create content appropriate to the audience and purpose, and the selection of tools to achieve an end.
Digital fluency is perhaps the most difficult term to define. By analogy with language, we might consider it to be demonstrated by ease of use in a wide variety of contexts. Translating this to digital fluency one might look for the use of a wide range of tools and resources, the critical assessment of sources and the ability to synthesise information with ease. This does not, however, capture the essence of the term which seems to carry an implication of ‘naturalness’ in the navigation and exploitation of the digital sphere.
I was somewhat surprised in researching these terms to discover how difficult it was to find or produce clear definitions. Although the terms are in common use not only in academic and educational circles but by the general public there is little agreement on the nuances of each. Although I was able to reach some broad conclusion my interpretations are not universally applicable. When reading any literature on the subject, therefore, it is important to consider how the author is using the terms.