“It’s not chalk and talk anymore” School approaches to developing students’ digital literacy

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In order to flourish in ever more digital cultures, young people need to be able to participate in a wide range of critical and creative practices involving technology and media. These practices of ‘digital literacy’ are likely to be important throughout young peoples’ lives as the development of technology and media continues to affect how people work, how they socialise, communicate and spend their leisure time and how they learn and share knowledge.

Digital literacy is therefore coming to the attention of educators as they recognise that not only does the teaching profession have a role in preparing children for a digital world, but that a sustained engagement
with technology and media is now integral to the development of knowledge across disciplines and subjects.
 
This document is the result of a nine-month research project investigating teacher and student experiences of school-based digital literacy interventions. It offers several short case studies which provide an overview of a number of different approaches to fostering students’ digital literacy taken by schools around the country and it offers a thematic analysis of some of the issues involved in developing such approaches.
 
Digital literacy is a complex and contested term. It is often understood as the ability to participate in a range of critical and creative practices that involve understanding, sharing and creating meaning with different kinds of technology and media.1 Although not all the schools that participated in this project used the term explicitly, they were all interested in helping their students develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that would enable them to approach media and technology critically and to develop creative, effective and safe practices when using technology and media.

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