Digital Literacy

An interesting ongoing discussion with David Stuart in the MoE research division on research priorities in the coming year(s). Seems one of the focus areas is likely to be to do with the notion of digital capabilities/literacies – determining the sorts of things our learners are going to need to acquire during their learning lifetime to make them effective lifelong learners!

I’ve offered a couple of background papers that are favourites of mine – but would be keen to hear of others..

Mine are:
The enGuage 21st Century Skills List from NCREL which identifies the following:

Digital-Age Literacy

* Basic, scientific, economic, and technological literacies
* Visual and information literacies
* Multicultural literacy and global awareness

Inventive Thinking

* Adaptability and managing complexity
* Self-direction
* Curiosity, creativity, and risk taking
* Higher-order thinking and sound reasoning

Effective Communication

* Teaming, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
* Personal, social, and civic responsibility
* Interactive communication

High Productivity

* Prioritizing, planning, and managing for results
* Effective use of real-world tools
* Ability to produce relevant, high-quality products

Each skill cluster is further broken down into representative skill sets, which offer guidance on recognizing student performance in developing the enGauge 21st Century Skills.

The other is a 2002 report published in the Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment titled Investigating Children??s Emerging Digital Literacies (downloads as a PDF)

This report identifies the following “Dimensions of Literacy”
* Major Literacy Skills
* Troubleshooting
* Purposes
* Tool Use
* Communication Literacy
* Web Literacy
And expands on the results of research that was carried out to find how the expressions of these dimensions varied in children from low income homes compared to those from middle income homes. Comparisons such as this are always open to scrutiny, and will certainly be changing as the technology and issues of access are changing, but the differentiations that are identified in this report provide some interesting insights as to how we might be regarding digital literacies and their development in our education system.

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