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September 22, 2017

Can I Teach Digital Literacy Without Being Digitally Literate?

Filed under: EDDL 5101 @ 5:21 pm

I struggled with these articles and the difference between “critical digital literacy” and “digital literacy”. After several slow trips through the Pangrazio article I think I can deal in both areas, with skills that encompass either mastery and operational proficiency and/or evaluation and critique. For my program and students we will not have excess time to spend on critical digital literacy and my web skills are limited to creating basic sites with DreamWeaver several years ago, but I would at least like to touch on it.

I currently have my students create a LinkedIn profile for themselves as part of the course introduction. The students are encouraged to upload video of heir capstone project and link to it in their profiles. For this exercise I would expand that task based on the Mozilla Web Literacy guidelines with the goal of attracting and drawing interest from potential employers.

The exercise would involve creating a web presence as an envelope for a digital portfolio including samples of work and video. Students would need to solve the problem of finding a suitable space and creatively displaying their work to effectively communicate their skills and backgrounds in a professional and appropriate manner. By working in teams they would work collaboratively and have the opportunity to move into the critical digital literacy realm by evaluating and critiquing each other’s work.

1 Comment

  1.   keith webster — September 23, 2017 @ 5:51 am    Reply

    I think digital literacy is not a settled term and feeling insufficiently digitally literate is an appropriate state for someone who teaches with technology. One practice that I developed when I taught ed tech for the pre-service K-12 education program at UVic was, when I encountered a problem in the lab, I would talk my way through troubleshooting the issue. I think this helped to normalize technology failures and model strategies for recovery. If I asked students to talk amongst themselves while I dealt with the issue it would have been wasted time.

    I think the key problem with the concept of ‘digital literacy’ is just whose agenda does the literacy serve? This is similar to the problem of just what is the purpose of education generally. I just finished co-writing a book chapter on values-based pedagogy. My section was on social justice pedagogy and I think that, while I did not include it, digital literacy is one new landscape where this will develop (I’m actually saving it as part of a future chapter/article).

    Your exercise extends the purpose of their digital literacy learning beyond the course or program requirements into the realm of their own future benefit. I think this is an important part of establishing ‘portfolio’ style components to a program. They can have great benefit for extending learning and supporting authentic assessment but the students need to see their own needs included.

    Talk to you later,


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