Simon Thomson: Digital Literacy as a graduate attribute

What is Digital Literacy?

[This was a response on twitter that doesn’t quite fit the questions but offers an interesting perspective on defining digital literacy and embedding it into a university’s courses]

“I helped lead defining digital literacy at Leeds Beckett Uni – you can find [the report] here” EMBEDDING DIGITAL LITERACY AS A GRADUATE ATTRIBUTE AT LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY. (Centre for Learning and Teaching, November 2014 )

“Key points:

  • Digital literacy is defined as the confident and critical use of information and digital technologies to enhance academic, personal and professional development.
  • Digital literacy can be viewed as a varied set of capabilities that include information literacy, media literacy, communication and collaboration, along with digital scholarship, professional development planning skills, all of which are underpinned by digital technologies and computer literacy.” (page 1)

Leeds Beckett University – Digital literacy: definition

The confident and critical use of information and digital technologies to enhance academic, personal and professional development.
● Computer literacy: the ability to identify, adopt and use digital devices, applications and services in the fulfilment of activities and tasks whether study, employment or leisure related.
● Information literacy: the ability to find, access, evaluate, manipulate, re-use, synthesise and record information whilst understanding issues of authority, reliability, provenance, citation and relevance in digitised resources.
● Media literacy: including, for example, visual literacy, multimedia literacy: the ability to critically read and creatively produce professional communications in the most appropriate media.
● Communication and collaboration: the ability to develop and engage in digital networks appropriate to the needs of the participants and context, using a range of digital communications tools and showing awareness of identity and reputation management.
● Digital scholarship: the ability to participate in academic and professional practices that depend on digital systems, including the use of virtual learning environments, open access repositories, resource discovery tools and emergent technologies whilst demonstrating an awareness of the issues around content discovery, authority, reliability, provenance, licence restrictions, adaption and re purposing of sources.
● Academic practice: the ability to study and learn effectively in formal and informal technology-rich environments, 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/digitised formats; independent study using digital resources and learning materials.
● Professional development planning: the ability to make informed decisions and achieve goals, through the effective use of digital tools and media, which may include e-portfolios, professional online communication & collaboration tools and networking facilities, demonstrating an awareness of identity and reputation management.” (page 5).

Who are you?

Simon Thomson. @digisim

Director, Centre for Innovation in Education, University of Liverpool, UK.  Previously at Leeds Beckett University.

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