Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                       Digital LiteraciesDigital Liter...
Paul Campbell                      B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                      Digital LiteraciesKEY TERMS AND C...
Paul Campbell                      B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                     Digital Literaciesat this point, w...
Paul Campbell                      B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                      Digital LiteraciesTHE VARYING POS...
Paul Campbell                     B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                  Digital Literaciescomposition of texts...
Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                      Digital LiteraciesBut an interes...
Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                     Digital Literaciesoff, can use te...
Paul Campbell                      B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                    Digital LiteraciesWHAT THIS MEANS O...
Paul Campbell                     B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                  Digital LiteraciesTechnologies for Lea...
Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                       Digital LiteraciesSection 2:A r...
Paul Campbell                      B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                    Digital Literacies2010). He believe...
Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                        Digital LiteraciesReferencesBa...
Paul Campbell                       B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3                     Digital LiteraciesMunro, R. (2008...
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Digital Literacies - Literature review and policy starter paper

  1. 1. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesDigital Literacies ‘If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.’ - John DewyThe scene of this world is changing. With technological advancement, comes a shift in how wecommunicate. But also, even greater shifts take place in the underlying structures and functions ofsociety overall(Kress, 2006). There is no doubt then, that the impact such societal advancementshave on children and young people is great, and consequently, has great implications for us aseducators.There is no denying, digital literacy experiences are already vital components for people’sfunctioning in society and it is clear digital media and technology play big parts in children’s lives. It istherefore our instinctive duty as educators to bring these concepts and tools into the classroom sothat we can support our children and young people in developing their own skills, attitudes andunderstandings fundamental todigital literacies.Experiences in digital literacies have the purpose ofgiving children the opportunity to develop the transferable skills and competencieswhich they canadapt to suit the advancements in technology, communication and society today and in the future.But more importantly, digital technology transforms not only the traditional view of literacy, but alsothe role of schools and the curriculum. If we ignored that, we are ignoring the fact that we live in anadvancedtechnological society. It is our duty togive children the tools that will enable them to beactive, confident and successful members of society. This requires fundamental change in policy,practice and thinking(Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010).In my opinion, digital literacy, does not just enrich the curriculum, but actually transforms it. Tosupport this argument, Iam going to explore the concept of digital literacies in relation to thecurriculum. To do this, firstly I am going to discuss the key terms and concepts surrounding andembedded in digital literacies. Then, the varying positions of theorists, researchers and practitionerson the impact digital literacies have on learning, development and practice. And finally, I will discusswhat this means overall for the curriculum.1 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  2. 2. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesKEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS SURROUNDING AND EMBEDDED IN DIGITAL LITERACIESAdvancement in technology has without a doubt not just influenced, but changed our societyoverall.‘All children and young people need to be flexible and adaptable, with the capacity to continuedeveloping the new skills which they will need for the rapidly changing challenges of life, learning andwork in the modern world.’ - Building the Curriculum 4 – Skills for Learning, Skills for Life and Skills for Work (Scottish Government, 2009)There has been great debate and discussion surrounding the ‘new skills’ that children ‘will need forthe rapidly changing challenges of life, learning and work in the modern world.’ This is embedded inthe debate of what it actually means to be ‘digitally literate’. However, by no means is this a newconcept or discussion; it has been discussed and analysed as far back as the early 1990s (Bawden,2008).Gilster (1997), when defining digital literacy does not give a long list of competencies and skills thathelp define or describe what it means to be digitally literate. He simply describes it as the ability tomake use and show understanding of various digital sources of information. He just views digitalliteracy as, literacy in the digital age. This is a transformation of literacy, to suit the context of adigital age. His view is still in line with the more traditional view, that literacy is about reading andwriting, but also looks at literacy as more the ability to read, write and handle information using thetechnology available at the time in which we live. It changes the traditional view of reading andwriting to one that encompasses such activities into different contexts and its use for differentpurposes. To me, this is a definition which is sustainable as well as encompassing of the literacyrequirements of an active citizen in the 21st century. It is sustainable in the sense that it talks aboutreading and writing using the tools that are available in the time period. This encompasses literacybefore now, literacy currently, and further changes in literacy to come. It is a definition that can betailored and adapted to suit the time period, while encompassing what it means to be literate. Itdoes not discriminate between being literate and digitally literate. It views it essentially as the samething. It sees literacy as capabilities which allow someone to function in society, and in our time, thisinvolves the use of technology.Supporting the idea of digital technology transforming the curriculum, Lankshear and Snyder (2000,p.38) state that “with the arrival of new communication and information technologies... challengesconventional ways of thinking about literacy in terms of text, as well as challenging our very idea oftexts.” This highlights the point that we can no longer stick with the tradition view of literacybecause society is changing, and with this, so is what it means to be literate(Lankshear C. &.,2000).But it is not as clear cut as Glister (1997)’s definition. This definition emphasises the poin thatcurrently, it is challenging our ideas and perceptions of literacy, but doesn’t try and define whatliteracy should now be in a technological age. This bodes well with Lankshear and Knobel (2006).They believe that we are at a point in historical-cultural development when it comes to literacy, and2 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  3. 3. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital Literaciesat this point, we do not fully understand how to deal with these new literacies educationally. Thishighlights that it would be impossible to say whether or not digital literacy does in fact transform thecurriculum, because there is a lacking in understanding of the place it has in education today.In contrast to this, and Glister (1997)’s opinion, Lanham (1995) takes quite a different line ofthinking. His opinion is that because this new digital technology can create and present informationin new ways, a new form of literacy was thus required so that people could understand these newforms of presenting information.So it challenges Glister (1997)’s incorporation of digital technologyinto a more encompassing take on literacy, and Lankshear and Knobel (2006) in the sense that heviews it as simply, a new literacy; that there is no problem seeing where it fits in.However, Bawden (2008), challenges this definition, arguing that Lanham (1995)’s definition is toorestrictive or narrow, and influenced to greatly by the technology of the time he was writing it in. Hebelieves that Lanham (1995)’s take on it is more like a ‘media literacy’ which by definition impliesthat what is needed is the ability to handle information in formats that are presented to the user ofvarious forms of technology. This is very different to Glister (1997), who’s definition encompassedthe necessary concepts, changes and technologies without narrowing it, which makes it still relevant13 years later.Glister (1997) states quite clearly his opinion that “Digital literacy is about mastering ideas, notkeystrokes.” This definition stands his view apart from others more ‘technical skills’ approach todefining digital literacy. He believes digital literacy is:“Cognition of what you see on the computer screen... It places demands upon you that were alwayspresent, though less visible, in analogue media of newspapers and TV. At the same time, it conjuresup a new set of challenges that require you to approach networked computers withoutpreconceptions. Not only must you acquire the skill of finding things, you must also acquire the abilityto use these things in your life.”His mention of ‘networked computers’ is a reminder straight away of the time he wrote this, a timewhen the internet was taking off and was a relatively new experience for people (Bawden, 2008).But looking into the meaning behind what he is saying, it is of relevance to digital literacies today. Hediscusses the importance of the skill required to be literate in a digital age, the skills of picking out,sorting, analysing and interpreting information we derive from digital sources. But as Bawden (2008)discusses, many critics would view Glister (1997)’s definition of digital literacy as the same as thedefinition of the safe and effective use of the internet, which he argues is not the case at all.Indefence, Glister (1997) states that it is in no way his intent to suggest giving up other sources ofinformation to solely use the internet, but rather consider it as one of many sources or tools forretrieving information. This leads on to his opinion that, digital literacy is about being able toretrieve, understand and use information in varying and multiple formats from a wide array ofsources. This is where his definition stands out. It is not solely based around digital technology, it ismore about ideas and mind-sets which are developed through the use of different skills; an essentialrequirement for life in a digital society (Bawden, 2008).By default, this implies change;transformation of how we teach, what we teach and how we teach it. But it is not as clear cut asthat, there are many opinions as to whether change is necessary.3 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  4. 4. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesTHE VARYING POSITIONS OF THEORISTS, RESEARCHERS AND PRACTITIONERS ON THEIMPACT DIGITAL LITERACIES HAVE ON LEARNING, DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICEDiscussed earlier, there is great debate and variation surrounding the definition and meaning ofdigital literacy. With this comes growing debate as to the importance of digital literacy across thecurriculum and whether or not it should be a fundamental aspect of learning and teaching practicesacross the stages.There are a countless number of ways in which we can engage children and young people in ourclassrooms through digital technology. The possibilities are virtually endless. We can do this throughblogs; websiteswhere an individual or a group frequently create multi-modal texts,incorporatingtext, photographs, video or audio files, and links, usually on a daily basis. Also,podcasting; a method used to distribute audio or music, multimedia files over the internet for othersto play on mobile devices or computers. Another is wikis; a type of website that allows users to add,remove, or otherwise edit and change most of the available content with relative ease. These arejust a very few of the multitude of ways we can incorporate digital media and technology intoclassroom practice. But, what impact does this actually have on learning, on teaching, and why arethese impacts important?Bearne(2007) is strong in her standpoint that digital technology plays an important role indeveloping well rounded individuals with enquiring minds. Popular cultural and home textualexperiences now vary widely, and the texts children are reading vary greatly in format and context.More and more, children are reading and writing using online, digital tools. One way is throughsocial media and networking; for example Facebook and MSN. This is just one aspect of the wide andhighly diverse textual landscape that young readers and writers are now exposed to. Digitaltechnology changes the format of what are now common texts for children. They are now screen-based; digital. Most commonly we have websites, DVDs, virtual gaming environments; whichcombine sound, text, photographic and digitally created visuals, email and many others. Supportingthis argument, Kress (2006) believes that with digital media becoming embedded within oureveryday social, cultural and economic environments, it’s vital not just for children, but for all peopleto gain the skills integral to the use of these technologies, and thus gain from the benefits theyoffer(Kress, 2006).Bearne (2007) argues that this in itself creates a new challenge for us as educationalists.As teachers,we need to be taking account of and putting the children’s cultural capital and individual learningneeds and the centre of all we do, in particular when it comes to literacy experiences. Children cometo school with great differences in their personal textual and life experiences outside school. It is thisdiversity which enriches the experiences children have in school, and when acknowledged andcelebrated we can hopefully achieve successful literary and textual experiences for the children inour care; experiences that suit the needs of a child in a digitally advanced society(Bearne, 2007).Bearne(2007) also discusses multi-modal composition. Multi-modal texts can be composed onpaper, but the opportunities that can be taken advantage of on the computer, for exampleimporting pictures and videos, formatting text, adding sound and many others, means that the4 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  5. 5. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital Literaciescomposition of texts can be more varied, using features that wouldn’t be possible with pen to paper(Bearne, 2007)In contrast to Bearne (2007),Håvard Skarr (2009) offers an interesting perspective on the worth oreffectiveness of digital technology in promoting and extending learning; particularly when it comesto multi-modal text creation.Skarr, 2009, has carried out a great deal of research and analysis in the area of social semiotics.Social semiotics stresses the social bases, rather than the systematic bases for the signs that weproduce. Such signs can be the products we create to convey our experiences, ideas or concepts, forexample through the written word or pictorial representations.Social bases emphasise that we create a new sign each time we want to use one. So we go throughvaluable cognitive effort when creating signs that we want to represent the message, experience orconcept we are trying to convey (Skarr, 2009).Skarr (2009) believes that learning takes place through the semiotic work that we perform when wecreate signs or texts – a process of making meaning. He argues that digital technology changes thebasic conditions for sign and text production and thus, also what we learn from it.Writers create meaning from their texts through an inter-play between different mediums or modes,for example the use of text and pictures. Digital media now make it easier to combine writing andpictures to create multi-modal texts (Skarr, 2009).At first, it seems Skarr (2009) doesn’t get to a point. He repeatedly emphasises the same sentence;‘Digital technology and new media have given both multi-modality and writing a new role to playand that this has consequences for our text production and what we can learn from it.’ But as thearticle moves towards conclusion, he discusses school-based research that he carried out regardingthis exact point.In his research, in a class of 8 and 9 year olds, he examines how children use text and images tocreate their own stories using a computer, combining written text and images to create a multi-modal piece of work on a subject or experience of their choice. What he noted was interesting. Hefound that boys were quicker to search a picture on the internet and use that as the main part oftheir piece, whereas girls were keener to write. This meant that boys were spending less timemaking meaning from their experiences which they were conveying in the form of a story. They wereusing pre-created images to use as a ‘sign’ or representation of the meaning they were trying toconvey which required less semiotic work, less cognitive effort which results in less learning.Whereas girls were spending more time thinking carefully about word choice, sentence structureand text formation which required a greater amount of semiotic work; meaning making, thus greatercognitive effort and greater learning experiences.Skarr (2009) makes clear that both writing and drawing require us to make choices on more levels.However when using digital technology it is easier to pick out digital media images to use in ourrepresentations, which requires much less semiotic work and less cognitive effort in makingmeaning. So, digital media allows children to take short-cuts. So his point here is that we do learnmore from ‘naturally’ constructing or forming our signs or textual representations, without the helpof technology.5 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  6. 6. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesBut an interesting point that Skarr (2009) concludes with is that it is not that digital design is easier,but it can be easier. Digital media opens up two possibilities, first, the possibility of creating moreskilful and effective multi-modal texts. Secondly, the possibility of creating texts with less semioticwork that was required previously. So he does not entirely write off digital media, and acknowledgesthat it gives children the opportunity to make their own text richer and more advanced but that alsogives them the opportunity to disguise their areas for development as writers.Skarr (2009) concludes by making clear his opinion that,‘From a learning perspective, writing should retain its dominant and privileged position even in thenew media age. Writing forces us to make ourselves visible through our own choices of both signified(interest) and signifier (representation). It is these choices we learn from.’Therefore, Skarr (2009) believes that writing should still have precedence over the advantages digitaltechnology offer when it comes to creating texts, because of writing’s cognitive advantages.Linking to some of Skarr (2009)’s points, Building the Curriculum (BtC) 4 and other BtC documentsregularly make reference to the ‘effective’ use of technology as an integral part of learning andteaching (Scottish Government, 2009). The regular emphasis on the effective use of digitaltechnology across the curriculum, not only highlight it’s necessity in education today, but also theunderstanding that technology should not just be an ‘add on’, or an ‘extra’ in the classroom, but ithas great benefits for learning and teaching when used appropriately(Learning and TeachingScotland, 2000). This compliments what Skarr (2009) has to say; that digital technology, whileproviding opportunities for learning, can also hinder learning or mask areas for development whennot used effectively.Skarr (2009)’s view bodes well with Glister (1997)’s definition of digital literacy. He viewed it asincorporating the skills and competencies in making decisions on the tools to use, and not just usingtechnology because we can. This thus implies the need for well-planned and thought out use oftechnology when it comes to learning and teaching.‘The way to modernize our work is not to use a computer instead of a typewriter and call itinnovative.’ – Heidi JacobsThis emphasises that it is our responsibility as skilled professionals to be clear in our understandingof the effectiveness of the technology and tools that we offer to children in our classrooms. It’s not amatter of using digital technology for the sake of it. There needs to be a clear purpose; a rationalebehind what we do. It often seems we have seen curricular and legislative transformation relating todigital literacies, just no in practice. We have a great responsibility in developing the digital literaciesthat children need in order to be successful, confident and responsible members of society. Tofacilitate this, we need to ensure we offer opportunities for effective learning and development inwhat is encompassed by digital literacy.Digital literacy experiences are vital in learning and teaching practices across the stages, because thisis one way In which we can ensure that all children and young people, not just those who are well6 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  7. 7. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital Literaciesoff, can use technology effectively and in meaningful ways, and can feel included and active in ourincreasingly digital culture; socially and secularly.The BBC recently reported on the ‘digital divide’which noted that more than a million school children, mainly from low-socio-economic backgrounds,lack computer access at home (BBC, 2010).Digital literacy experiences have an important role in tackling the ‘digital divide’. This term is used todescribe the large inequalities that exist between people who are able to access and use ICTeffectively and those who can’t. Not only do these differences,more often than not, run along socio-economic lines, they can also contribute to sustaining them. The least-advantaged in society mayhave less access to computers, the internet and also, meaningful ICT education. Their inability to usea computer effectively is likely to prevent them from getting a lot of jobs, as well as fromparticipating in government and other services which often requires online participation. This hasoften been described as the “participation gap”: “the fundamental inequalities in young people’saccess to new media technologies and the opportunities for participation they represent”(Hague,2009).Tackling digital inclusion, and ensuring equality of digital participation opportunities for all youngpeople, requires not only access to technology but also the digital literacy skills and knowledgewhich will allow people to read, write, create and communicate using such technology (Hague,2009).‘optimal use of ICT in education is... not simply a matter of giving children encouragement in theirstudies while they gain a technical facility with the so-called tools of the future, but more significantlyabout facilitating a transformation in the nature of knowledge and the learning process.’ (Hague, 2009)Our jobs as teachers and education professionals is to help children find their own voice, and toenable to them to develop and construct their own understanding of the world. And to do so,transformation of curricular policy and practice is required, to ensure a match between educationand today’s society.Jukes and Dosaj (2006) says that “today’s generation has grown up in a digital landscape. For most ofthem, there’s never been a time in their lives when computers, cell phones, video games and theInternet haven’t surrounded them.” So we need to make sure there isn’t a mismatch between thelearner and the experiences that we are offering. This is vital in ensuring the education and learningthey take from their school experiences is relevant, contextualised, purposeful and transferable totheir daily lives; now and in the future (Jukes, 2006).By ignoring such familiar contexts and tools thatchildren and parents are increasingly using, we are ignoring what they value. Ultimately this willalienate and disengage learners, hindering their pursuit of life-long learning (Davies, 2008).7 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  8. 8. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesWHAT THIS MEANS OVERALL FOR THE CURRICULUM‘The literacy and English framework reflects the increased use of multimodal texts, digitalcommunication, social networking and the other forms of electronic communication encountered bychildren and young people in their daily lives. It recognises that the skills which children and youngpeople need to learn to read these texts differ from the skills they need for reading continuous prose.’ - Literacy and English – Principles and Practice (Scottish Executive, 2009)The development of digital literacies is a very interactive and engaging process for students. This is apositive indicator that it has been incorporated into the curriculum from the outset, emphasisingagain its importance and central role in allowing children to attain to their fullest potential.From theprevious discussion, it had become clear, transformation of the curriculum to incorporate digitalliteracies requires transformation of practice, not curricular documentation.CfE aims to do is to harness the best practice in teaching and learning, including the use of digitaltechnology, and extended across all educational establishments and school curriculums to ensureequality of opportunity, and that all children are experiences a top class education (Russell, 2010).While we have examples of best practice, and a developing understanding of the importance ofdigital literacy experiences, this is something that needs to be harnessed, analysed, discussed anddebated among teachers and other educational professionals. From this, we can develop a plan foraction, centred on an understanding of the needs and wants of children in a technological society.Only then, will we be able to reach a point in time where we can say our education system reallymeets the needs of 21st century children, and the advancing and developing technological societythat we live in.To aid this, the Scottish Government is committed to producing a ‘technologies for learningstrategy’. They agree with points raised from a recent European Commission review, which detailedthe broad positive outcomes from the use of technologies for learning which included cognitiveprocessing, independence, critical thinking and engagement. An interesting point that it alsohighlighted was that technology can play a part in enhancing a child-centred curriculum andcollaborative approaches to learning and teaching across the stages(Learning and Teaching Scotland,2010). This bodes very well with the principles of CfE.But the use of digital technologies and the impact such practices and policies are having on learningand teaching varies greatly across Scotland’s learning landscape.The Scottish Government want a nation that, together, embraces and puts to full use the innovativeand creative potential of technologies in learning, when done in an effective, natural and consistentway; integrated into everyday learning and teaching. They see it as vital if we are to meet the needsand aspirations of the children and young people in our care, and of course, to further the country’seconomic growth (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010).To be able to reach a point where the education community and teachers and professionals have aclear understanding of the importance in developing digital literacies, ways need to be found toengage and enthuse the education community. Awareness has to be developed of the importance of8 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  9. 9. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesTechnologies for Learning which can in turn influence their participation and contribution todeveloping this within our curriculum so that all learners can benefit from the ‘combined wisdom,support and advice that on-line environments and other technologies can offer’ (Learning andTeaching Scotland, 2010).This is essential if we are to contribute to a wealthier and a smarter Scotland whose young peopleare successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsiblecitizens(Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010).In conclusion, the world is changing. Communication is changing. Literacy is changing. A traditionalapproach to literacy and to the curriculum does no longer suit or meet the needs of a citizen in atechnologically advanced, global society (Lankshear C. &., 2008). Transformation is essential if wewant a match between learners and the curriculum. Incorporating their cultural capital as the basisfor our curriculum and ensuring experiences are relevant, contextualised and purposeful by default,involves the effective use digital technology and digital literacy experiences. This will allow ourchildren and young people to develop skills and competencies which are transferable and adaptableto suit the needs of global citizens as technology and communication continues to develop, changeand transform.So again, ‘If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.’ - John Dewy9 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  10. 10. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesSection 2:A rationale for including digital literacy activities as part of the language policy statement for theschool.‘We are in the middle of a revolution in how knowledge is created, transmitted and organised that issimilar significance to that which followed the invention of printing.’ - Seb SchmollerDigital technologies are now abundant in our everyday life; personally and secularly. With such arapid change, the greater the urgency is for teachers and schools to respond to these changes; tochange themselves.New technologies are beginning to be used in literacy education, thus new literacies are now beingengaged with (Knobel, 2006). These new literacies are of vital importance for our children and youngpeople. If they are going to have the knowledge, skills, capabilities and thinking abilities to be able tofunction and participate in an advanced technological society, they need to master these new, digitalliteracies. Integral to this are the skills in: online social networking, maintaining privacy in onlineenvironments, identity management, creating content, organising content, reusing and repurposing,filtering and selecting and self-presenting (Wheeler, 2010).Many teachers argue however that such technologies and social networks are personal tools andhave no place in school, a place of learning. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Technology and socialnetworking is here to stay. If they are banned, or not used in schools, children and young people willstill use them. Therefore, children need to be taught the safe and effective use of such tools andnetworks. By ignoring such familiar contexts and tools that children and parents are increasinglyusing, we will alienate learners if we are ignoring what they value. The BBC recently published anarticle detailing the inequalities in access to the internet and computers many children have outsideof school(BBC, 2010). Therefore, we should feel an instinctive duty to try and balance out theseinequalities and provide equal access for children, which can start in school. Added to this, throughthe use of digital technology and mediums in the development of digital literacies, students aredeveloping their understanding and awareness of the potential of the voice they have that spans outwith their local community. They see first-hand the impact they can have as a part of a globalcommunity, and how social networking facilitates this(Davies, 2008).An example of this in practice is that of Martin Waller, a Year 2 teacher at a primary school inEngland. He has begun using the social networking system, Twitter, as a means of engaging thechildren in his class, in the process of evaluating and reflecting on their own learning. Twitter is asocial networking system which if free to join. You can ‘tweet’ up to one hundred and fortycharacters, and this has been termed ‘micro-blogging’. Other users can follow and reply to tweets.He finds it a valuable tool in his classroom because it creates a greater understanding of real worldliteracy and helped develop digital literacy skills within this online community of practice(Waller,10 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  11. 11. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital Literacies2010). He believes that using such online social and collaborative communications adds to children’sdevelopment as critical readers of an extensive range of texts and helps them to understand the vastarray of domains that literacy embodies in our society today.It can be seen from Waller (2010)’s account that incorporating digital literacy practices within theschool curriculum and embedding it in classroom practices need not mean more work for teacher(Thomson, 2007). Obviously there are safety issues to be considered, which Waller (2010) describesas a valuable learning process for children themselves, which will help them think about safety intheir personal use of technology and social networks.Digital literacy transforms the curriculum. So, by definition, it requires change (Hertz, 2009). Changewon’t be easy. Introducing digital literacy experiences and new technological-based tools is a changeprocess that triggers a range of responses. Whilst such changes may be embraced by many, forothers it can challenge their intrinsic values and beliefs as teachers. Added to this, time, skills andconfidence can be barriers when aiming for whole school implementation, even with relevantexamples of how use of the tool and exploration of the concept can enhance learning(Web, 2010).But, socially-based, action-oriented professional development,suited to the individual needs of theschool, can addressnegative responses and support a high-visibility, community-based approach toembedding digital literacy experiences in classroom practice. In doing so, this can promote lastingchange to attitudes and practice(HMIE, 2006).‘The most important thing schools can do is not to use technology in the curriculum more, but to useit more effectively.’ - UnknownSo for us, we need to reflect on, the role and purpose of digital literacies across the curriculum; howwe can incorporate such practices into the curriculum, and how we can evaluate the effectiveness ofour efforts to use digital technology as a means of enhancing and enriching the curriculum.So, if we want to facilitate learning that is relevant, contextualised, authentic and embedded inchildren’s cultural capital and daily experiences, digital technology and literacy experiences have tobe at the core of the curriculum.11 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  12. 12. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesReferencesBawden, D. (2008). Origins and Concepts of Digital Literacy. In C. &. Lankshear, Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices (pp. 17-32). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.BBC. (2010, December 28). News: Education and Family. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from BBC:, E. (2007, July). Hearing voices: past, present and future. Eve Bearne.Burniske, R. W. (2008). Literacy in the Digital Age. London: Sage Publications.Cole, M. C. (2005). The Development of Children. New York: Worth Publishers.Davies, J. (2008, March 28). Digital Literacies. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from http://digital- http://digital-, J. (2008). Starting from the child. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Glister, P. (. (1997). Digital Literacy. New York: Wiley.Hertz, M. B. (2009). Its not the tool, its how you use it. Philadephia, PA: Slideshare.HMIE. (2006). How Good is Our School? - The Journey to Excellence. Livingston: HMIE.Jukes, I. &. (2006, September). Retrieved October 21, 2010, from Educational Origami:, M. &. (2006). New Literacies: Everyday Practices & Classroom Learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Kress, G. (2006). Literacy in the New Media Age. Oxon: Routledge.Lanham, R. (1995). Digital Literacy. Scientific American, 160-161.Lankshear, C. &. (2000). Teachers and techno-literacy: Mangaging literacy, technology and learning in schools. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin.Lankshear, C. &. (2008). Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices. New York: Peter Lang Publications.Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2000). Information and Communications Technology. Edinburgh: Learning and Teaching Scotland.Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2010, November). Background. Retrieved 11 2, 2010, from Technologies for Learning Strategy:, J. (2007). Popular culture, New Media and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood. Oxon: Routledge .12 School of Education University of Strathclyde
  13. 13. Paul Campbell B.Ed. Primary Education – Year 3 Digital LiteraciesMunro, R. (2008). Information and Communication Technology. In T. G. Bryce, Scottish Education (pp. 509-514). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Schlackman, J. (2010, December). Why schools really do need ICT. Report, p. 21.Scottish Executive. (2007). Building the Curriculum 2: Active Learning in the Early Years. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.Scottish Government. (2009). Building the Curriculum 4 - Skills for Learning, Skills for Life and Skills for Work. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.Scottish, E. (2009). Literacy and English - Principles and Practice. In S. Executive, Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.Skarr, H. (2009, April). In defence of writing: a social semiotic perspective on digital media, literacy and learning. Literacy, pp. 36-42.Thomson, J. (2007, September). The Case for Moving Image Education in the Primary School.Web, J. (2010, November). Implementing new technological tools in schools. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from Edjournal: technological-tools-in-schoolsWheeler, S. (2010). Lifelong learning in a digital age. Joint Learning and Teaching Conference. Portsmouth: School of Education University of Strathclyde