What Is Digital Literacy?


My favourite definition of Digital Literacy that I have found so far is part of a presentation on Digital Literacy in Primary School Sites, an experiment in 3 schools in Ireland (Casey & Bruce, 2010).  They present Digital Literacy as follows:

To augment the definitions above, Wikipedia defines Digital Literacy as follows:

The ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology. It involves a working knowledge of current high-technology, and an understanding of how it can be used. Digitally literate people can communicate and work more efficiently, especially with those who possess the same knowledge and skills.

Research around digital literacy is concerned with wider aspects associated with learning how to effectively find, use, summarize, evaluate, create, and communicate information while using digital technologies, not just being literate at using a computer.

Digital literacy encompasses computer hardware, software (particularly those used most frequently by businesses), the Internet, cell phones, PDAs, and other digital devices. A person using these skills to interact with society may be called a digital citizen.

To summarize, now that we have a knowledge of what Digital Literacy looks like, how can we define illiteracy…

6 Responses to What Is Digital Literacy?

  1. I am a tablet computer researcher in the Language Institute at Bangkok University in Thailand. The Gov of Thailand has delivered or deployed 1,000,000 small android tablets for all first graders. As a second language English teacher and tablet researcher I am very concerned on how I can most effectively introduce the need to understand digital literacy. I came by your site today and will go though all the references you provide. Thanks
    Willard Van De Bogart

    • CPlunkett says:

      Wow, 1 million tablets, that’s almost unfathomable for me here in Canada. Certainly families have them at home now, but to introduct them on such a grand scale to 1st graders has made my jaw drop. I hope there is an ongoing strategy involved.

    • TLHollimon says:

      Hi, Mr. Van De Bogart, I am a graduate student in the Masters Reading Program at Texas Woman’s University in the United States. I am currently researching digital literacy and it’s affects on classroom literacy instruction. I am particularly interested in how the first graders responded to the tablets. As a first grade teacher myself, I would appreciate hearing how the projected worked.

  2. That one tablet per child policy under the Pheu Thai party failed. Now the new government wants to install a smart classrooms in all schools in Thailand. Samsung has solutions for this effort and I am currently conducting best teaching practices research for the smart classroom. There is a smart classroom installed at the Bangkok University library. It uses the Elf digital smart podium mfg. by AHA in Delhi with an EdupenPRO for the white board and 20 iPADs for use by the students.

  3. John Mutuse says:

    Am so much Interested In this smart classrooms how to introduce them in our primary schools here in Kenya. Our President wanted to introduce laptops to primary schools here in Kenya, but the project flopped, I would like to have some hints.

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