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20 ways of thinking about digital literacy in higher education

20 ways of thinking about digital literacy in higher education

From understanding what digital literacy is, to developing skills and establishing ethical principles for students, our live chat panel share ideas and resources for universities

Josie Fraser, social and educational technologist, Leicester City Council

First define what you mean by digital literacy: The definition I most frequently use is this one: digital literacy = digital tool knowledge + critical thinking + social engagement. Then it’s worth knowing its main characteristics:

•  It supports and helps develop traditional literacies •  It’s a life-long practice • It’s about skills, competencies and critical reflection on how these skills and competencies are applied • It’s about social engagement

Top tips for developing the digital literacy of non-traditional students

Literacy is not static: I like Bélisle’s three models of literacy

All education sectors are facing many of the same challenges with digital literacy, so we can learn from one another: Some of the obvious issues are

Helen Beetham, consultant, JISC, the UK’s expert on information and digital technologies for education and research

Recognise that students arrive with their own digital practices

Developing digital literacies in practice requires: • Providing authentic contexts for practice, including digitally-mediated contexts • Individual scaffolding and support • Making practices of meaning-making explicit • Anticipating and helping learners manage conflict between different practice contexts • Recognising and helping learners integrate their prior conceptions and practices

Establish guiding ethical principles

Mid-career is the worst time for academics and professional staff to be up to date with technology

Elizabeth Losh, director, Culture, Art, and Technology program, Sixth College, University of California, San Diego

‘Digital natives’ need a basic understanding of computers as technical platforms, or of coding

Acknowledge that there is also anxiety about technologies in the classroom and take the lead

On managing your online identities

David White, researcher, University of Oxford

We need to understand learners personal digital literacies before ploughing into ‘supporting’ them

HEIs need to help legitimise digital practices without trying to own them

A key digital literacy is how you manage distraction

Sarah Knight, programme manager, e-Learning, JISC

Engage students in this debate and ensure that they too have ownership of this agenda

Reticence to adapt is less about the fear of the technology itself but about the fear of doing this differently from the way they’ve have always been done

Sue Thomas, professor of new media, De Montfort University

Digital literacy as an important part of transliteracy

Tristram Hooley, head, International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby

The idea that you build some kind of identifiable career capital online is likely to have a big influence on your ability to get a job

Abhay Adhikari, digital strategist, Digital Footprints, a digital communication, social media training consultancy

Digital engagement shouldn’t be lead by a platform or task-specific agenda

Check it out.


Posted on: May 31, 2012, 6:54 am Category: Uncategorized

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