Friday, 2 March 2012

Digital Literacy in Higher Education

What is digital literacy?  Do we need to expand our definitions to include new social media interactions? What are we talking about?.. What does digital literacy mean to you?

SCONUL/JISC have done quite a lot of work on this area,

Developing Digital Literacies Programme
Digital Literacies in Transition – A Model for Transforming Graduate Attributes
Students Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning

and other good research papers
 See the PRIDE (University of Bath) CASCADE (University of Exeter) and DL in Transition (University of Greenwich) projects as excellent examples of how institutions are engaging students in this debate.

The HE live chat has some interesting  takes on this issues too.

"Defining ‘Digital natives’ as opposed to ‘Digital immigrants’ as native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the internet. (Presky)

Perhaps we should harness the ‘digital natives’ familiarity and enthusiasm for digital engagement by bridging the gap between theoretical and experiential learning approaches. This implies we should adopt a learner-centred approach to education away from directional learning to a more active experiential learning with increasing multi-tasking using a range of digital devices, services and platforms that enable the learner to take responsibility and drive their own informal learning agenda.
However , implicit in this debate is the critique of current educational practices and tutors’ competency as ‘digital migrants’ rather than ‘digital natives’ to mediate development of students’ literacy.
Hence, one of the greatest challenges for the contemporary educational system is to adopt and promote multimedia, game-based and other methodologies that induce non-linear interaction, thinking and learning rather than the ‘linear’ media (e.g. television, video, etc.) and text based resource (e.g. books, blogs, etc.)." ClaudiaMegele

"I like BĂ©lisle’s three models of Literacy: Functional, Socio-cultural & Transformational:
• Functional – the functional and practical skills required to function within a community
• Socio-cultural – as literacy being meaningful only within a social context, and facilitating access to cultural, economic and political structures
• Transformational – that new ways of seeing and thinking about the world become possible as new cognitive and processing tools come into play.

Digital Literacy =
digital tool knowledge +
critical thinking +
social engagement

For me, the main characteristics of digital literacy are that:
• it supports and helps develop traditional literacies – it isn’t about the use of technology for it’s own sake or ICT as an isolated practice
• it's a life long practice – developing and continuing to maintain skills in the context of continual development of technologies and practices
• it's about skills and competencies, and critical reflection on how these skills and competencies are applied
• it's about social engagement – collaboration, communication, and creation within social contexts"josiefraser

"Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks." SueThomas

"digital literacy defines those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society

However, we are particularly concerned with those capabilities that are required and/or developed in the context of further and higher education, namely:
• ICT/computer literacy: the ability to adopt and use digital devices, applications and services in pursuit of goals, especially scholarly and educational goals.
• information literacy: the ability to find, interpret, evaluate, manipulate, share and record information, especially scholarly and educational information. For example, dealing with issues of authority, reliability, provenance, citation and relevance in digitised scholarly resources.
• media literacy, including for example visual literacy and multimedia literacy: the ability to critically read and creatively produce academic and professional communications in a range of media.
• communication and collaboration: the ability to participate in digital networks of knowledge, scholarship, research and learning, and in working groups supported by digital forms of communication.
• digital scholarship: the ability to participate in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems. For example, use of digital content (including digitised collections of primary and secondary material as well as open content) in teaching, learning and research, use of virtual learning and research environments, use of emergent technologies in research contexts, open publication and the awareness of issues around content discovery, authority, reliability, provenance, licence restrictions, adaption/repurposing and assessment of sources.
• learning skills: the ability to study and learn effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal, including: use of digital tools to support critical thinking, academic writing, note taking, reference management, time and task management; being assessed and attending to feedback in digital formats; independent study using digital/digitised resources and learning materials.
• life-planning: the ability to make informed decisions and achieve long-term goals, supported by digital tools and media, including, for example, reflection, personal and professional development planning, CV building, identity and reputation management, showcasing achievements."SarahKnight

1 comment:

  1. love the
    Digital Literacy =
    digital tool knowledge +critical thinking +
    social engagement