Thursday, July 17, 2014

Multiple Literacies Series: Digital Literacy

How are our discussions changing?  Are we all the experts in our participatory culture and learning?

After writing a series about the digital divide, I would like to springboard into investigating multiple literacies and how they enhance our roles as teacher librarians. The literacies include digital literacy, mass literacy, transliteracy, transmedia, media literacy, information literacy, and anything else I stumble upon.  Perhaps learning more about these topics will expand your current library practices into something unexpectedly good. I like taking ideas and concepts and make them my own.


This quote signifies my focus and purpose as to why I am writing the literacies series.
"Kids are coming up with the content then helping to promote it back to themselves. In an endless feedback loop between broadcast and social media." Generation Like l Frontline

Most posts will contain a definition, article highlights and questions to consider. Accompanying the information from the article will be a list of recommended readings.



What is Digital Literacy?
Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.

A Digitally Literate Person:
•Possesses the variety of skills – technical and cognitive – required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats;

•Is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, and judge the quality of that information;  

•Understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning, personal privacy, and stewardship of information;

•Uses these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion, the general public; and

•Uses these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.

Source: ALA Connect

Article about digital literacy.

Rheingold, Howard. "Stewards Of Digital Literacies." Knowledge Quest: American Association of School Librarians 41.1 (2012): 53-55. Print.

Highlights from the article.
  • "You can't participate without knowing how.  And cultural participation depends on a social component that is not easily learned alone or in a manual.  That's where school libraries and school librarians have a critically important part to play."
  • "I use the word "literacies" to ecompass the social element as well as the individual ability to encode and decode the medium."
  • "Digital literacy specialists...In school libraries and librarians, we already have a public place and a community of experts to help us learn the cognitive and social skills as well as the technical skills for navigating today's infosphere."
  • "Who else but school librarians are better equipped to facilitate these new literacies?  And with the massive bypassing of gatekeepers, how do we deal with the massive floods of inaccurate information, misinformation, disinformation?"
  • "Is all this digital stuff any good for us? Some people benefit; others left behind...the economic and education divide between the world's have and have nots is a real one...it depends on now many people know how to detect bogus information online, mange their information, participate as a contributing digital citizen."
  • "Crap detection...thinking like a detective...if nothing else, helping people understand a little more than they do now about how to find information online and how to test that information, whether they find it on their own or someone else feeds it to them, is a crucial mission for today's librarians."
  • "School librarians have the opportunity to increase the amount of good information by helping their constituents learn how to become productive, mindful. effective participants."
  • "How teach those billions to become active participants...and use tools?"
  • Literacies are infectious, but they need stewards, catalysts, and teacher librarians to spread fast and far."

If you want to learn more about digital literacy and learning.


Feel free to add additional articles about digital literacy and learning in the comments section below. 

Next on the multiple literacy series mass literacy.