Digital literacy

What is the OU doing about digital literacy? Visit the Digital literacy stand at this year's Learnabout Fair, 29th Feb 2012

Cloud created by:

Katharine Reedy
12 March 2010

Digital literacy is a term often used but so far not unanimously defined, either in society as a whole or within the OU. It has strong affinity with information literacy and IT literacy, but goes beyond either of these.  It can be seen as individual capability or as community practice, and involves a mixture of technical and interpersonal competences.

JISC (2011) defines digital literacy as: 'those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society'

Gillen and Barton (2010) refer to digital literacy as 'the constantly changing practices through which people make traceable meanings using digital technologies’.

The BECTA definition (2010) states that: 'Digital literacy is the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables critical, creative, discerning and safe practices when engaging with digital technologies in all areas of life’ .

There is widespread acknowledgement that these skills and practices are important in the 21st century workplace. The Digital Britain report of 2009 referred to the skills and infrastructure needed for a digital economy, including 'digital media literacy': http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/digitalbritain-finalreport-jun09.pdf

The Learn about digital literacy guide provides more detail about the issues and where the OU is heading.

Two learning paths have been created in SocialLearn, and a framework for digital literacy is being developed. The Digital literacy in the OU workspace (linked below) and Wiki bring together all current initiatives.

This cloud is a space to discuss digital literacy related questions with the aim of moving the digital literacies agenda forward at the OU.  Comments and suggestions welcome!

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