This presentation will explore aspects of digital literacy, and why working toward digital fluency matters for learners today…and, of course, we’re all learners
Before we begin with definitions and the rest I thought we should look at why this matters. How many are familiar with the NMC Horizon Report? The NMC Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). It is is an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are identified each year. “A large part of the challenge is based on insufficient professional development, which is the result of a number of issues that range from a lack of funding, low administrative support, the paucity of formal digital literacy agendas, or ambiguity around the definition of digital fluency. It’s a big issue, many institutions are working to address. –later in this presentation I’ll discuss a new George Fox digital fluency initiative. Just two weeks ago we were awarded a grant for a pilot program to begin this August.
Looking closer we see another facet of this challenge is what the Horizon Report refers to as an attitude shift required of instructors. In my opinion, all who work in higher education need that attitude shift. Students need to see that digital literacy is important in all of our work, and that we are all working to develop digital skills and competencies that can be used to help them succeed, and for us to be more effective workers; we are all learners in this digital age.
Now - Let’s look at a few definitions. There are many definitions for digital literacy, this one is from the American Library Association.
And from Wikipedia we have yet another definition.
From the UK, we have the JISC definition. To help with thinking about this they have outlined 7 elements of digital literacy for consideration with competencies attached to each of the 7 elements that we and our students can work to develop. I found that especially helpful.
“Digital literacy looks beyond functional IT skills to describe a richer set of digital behaviours, practices and identities. What it means to be digitally literate changes over time and across contexts, so digital literacies are essentially a set of academic and professional situated practices supported by diverse and changing technologies.” http://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-digital-literacies
We’re all aware of the broader, more traditional, information literacy. The recently published Association of College and Research Libraries IL framework has not been without controversy, partly around terminology such as Metaliteracy. Regardless of what it’s called I think this acknowledges important changes for academic librarians. Our roles are evolving as our students and others are creating and collaborating. Librarians have been focused on digital resources for many years now but the last couple of years has seen a shift in efforts beyond assisting with library databases to ways we can more deeply collaborate with faculty and assist students in digital projects of all kinds.
The University of Derby link on this slide is to a short youtube video by the title, why digital literacy matters. I think they do a good job touching on key points a few of which I pulled out here.
Again, as with digital literacy, many definitions exist on digital fluency. For myself in determining the difference between digital literacy and fluency it helps to think about learning a language. You can know the vocabulary and even how to properly conjugate verbs, etc. However, a person fluent in a language takes what they’ve learned a few steps further, they know when and where and how to use that language, and can fluidly choose the best words for any situation.
Digital Scholarship is listed by JISC as one of the 7 elements of digital literacy. Associated competency: Participate in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems. The Mellon Foundation link on this slide takes you to some amazing work being done though various grant funded programs. Many of us have Institutional repositories now loaded with valuable digital scholarship, in addition to special collections. How might we leverage what is available to us to add additional value and new knowledge for our students and community. I find looking at projects like those funded through the Mellon Foundation inspiring and am always thinking about ways we can be involved with content to create additional value. It may not be as elaborate as what can be done with thousands of grant dollars but I think through partnerships, and some of the simpler tools being developed, we may all begin to more fully utilize our content.
Digital Thoreau is a collaboration among the State University of New York at Geneseo, the Thoreau Society, and the Walden Woods Project. A variety of platforms for social reading have sprung up in recent years. Students in the course Literature and Literary Study in the Digital Age at the State University of New York at Geneseo have contributed to the encoding of the fluid text Walden. Our smaller institutions don’t always have had the technical abilities needed for projects such as this but the technology is getting simpler and easier to use out of the box tools are slowly being developed and often made freely available.
Digital identities as Career and Identity Management Literacy under the JISC 7 elements of digital literacy . Sometimes referred to as our digital footprint, digital identities, digital footprints, and online reputations, are becoming an increasingly important topic inK-12 and especially higher education.
The quote in this slide is a major focus of the course I teach on developing our online identities, which I’ll be talking about tomorrow morning so won’t go into great detail here except to say, this is an important element of digital literacy for our students today. Understanding that they will be googled and that what shows up in the search results, much from their activity on social media sites, is critically important to many future careers. Believe me, they need far more help in this area than I imagined when I first began teaching this course in 2012. Not only that, in my experience, they are very appreciative of any help we offer.
From Media literacy, Communication and collaboration, Learning skills and ICT literacy, many of the 7 JISC digital literacies are important for students and staff to fully partake of our 21st century participatory culture. Web 2.0 was a phrase popularized in late 2004 at an O’Reilly conference. That’s when many of us began playing with wikis, social bookmarking, and blogs. In the early days many thought Web 2.0 was a fad, now it’s the Internet.
The influence of participatory culture on education – Henry Jenkins has been speaking, researching and writing about participatory culture for many years and is a respected leader on this topic. Understanding that our participatory culture has changed how we work, play, and learn is critical IMO to understanding why working toward digital fluency is important.
All of us can become engaged in playing a game on our smartphones or in watching the newest video meme on youtube but what about in the classroom? Here’s an example of students being fully engaged and immersed in learning. I love that it showcases a rich merging of the physical and the digital. I found this project very inspirational.
This course is for education majors in the ECMP 355 Computers in Education course taught at the University of Regina, it’s still being taught and a google search of ECMP 355 will bring up many examples of student’s work. A great example of creative work that summarizes well his course learning.
Developing digital skills for regular folks, remember, I’m not a techie. Nothing too sophisticated, but I have plenty of fun, and the learning just happens.
Been playing and experimenting with various augmented reality (AR) platforms for several years. This is still an evolving technology in which the most successful implementations appear to be by companies that can afford to invest in the research and development of creative experiences. I’ve not seen a high level of AR implementations yet in education. Oculus Rift and other virtual reality/augmented reality developments may soon change this. Bottom right image is one I took while playing with an augmented reality book in the library office. The print book is titled “The fantastic flying book of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” I’m able to use my mobile device to take Morris off the pages of the book and fly with him through the office right through my workstudy students raised arms. Great fun
Commercial companies can afford to do amazing things with augmented reality (AR) technology. I’ve yet to see the same quality AR produced by individuals or academic institutions. In the images above I’m using the Haagen-Dazs Concerto Timer app on the lid of the ice-cream containers to display violinists playing a concerto while my ice-cream becomes “properly tempered” and ready to eat (when the concerto is over). Clever and creative marketing.
First, I’ll state up front that I’m a fan of twitter (though years ago I wrote a blog post rant about how it seemed the most ridiculous narcissistic network I had ever come across), I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the sharing on the platform over the years (it is my number one professional development network). I’d like to engage with others there more than I do and I’m working on that (a time management issue). Ultimately though, there is great digital literacy potential with this tool. This is a fun event, and I think a great way for budding writers to try to grab an audience…there are so many possibilities here. News post: From May 11-15, the Association of American Publishers and Penguin Random House will team up again to present the third industry-wide #TwitterFiction Festival. We will invite authors from across the industry to create original fiction, using the Twitter platform. Writers everywhere can also submit their own ideas once again for the chance to be featured in the author showcase. As in previous years, anyone at anytime can jump in and join the fun by telling stories on Twitter using the #TwitterFiction hashtag.
I created a guide, linked on the library website, for those in the GFU community, who are interested in using twitter for teaching and learning after receiving many inquiries from faculty about twitter. Creating guides to address topics important to digital literacy is one way librarians and other educators can assist our communities in becoming more digitally fluent. The guide is accessible to anyone from our library course guides along with other helpful miscellaneous guides from this link: http://www.georgefox.edu/offices/murdock/CourseGuides/index.html#misc
People are sharing everywhere online. We can pull together the best content to create resources from which others can benefit.
And I can’t leave out Mobile - Mobile literacy falls under the ICT literacy (Competency: Adopt, adapt, and use digital devices, applications, and services) element of the JISC model - Smartphones and cupcakes, two of my favorite things…and now let’s look at a few stats on why mobile matters.
- Among device owners, in-class use is 74% laptops 66% smartphones 62% tablets —ECAR student study, 2014
Librarians especially need to be involved with helping students with mobile and other literacy needs.
Downloading e-books on mobile devices requires use of the bluefire app, which works on any mobile platform. Many students need help with this process. The most annoying part that we really can not do anything about, whether downloading onto mobile or laptops, each of our vendors require free accounts to be created before books can be downloaded. There are challenges and advantages to making e-books available to our students and we do our best to assist with the process. At my institution faculty have also begun assigning library e-books as text in some classes, thereby saving students the cost of purchasing.
Having large numbers of mobile devices on our campuses eventually has an effect on many aspects of our work.
What can be done campus wide? At GFU, in response to the Horizon Report quotes on slide #3, we will begin with a faculty initiative described further on the next slide.
A three year grant funded initiative. Pilot program begins August 2015.
I regularly run across people in higher ed who are anxious about technology. Undergrads, grads, faculty and staff struggle with this. Recently Eric Stoller wrote this post for inside higher ed- It’s a short worthwhile read but the fear I want to focus on here is reason number three, Fear of Perception, which I’ve quoted on the next slide.
The following slide is our final and I’d like to end with a video that I watch often. It makes me smile every time and I believe the message is relevant.
Guiding Learners Toward Digital Fluency
Robin Ashford / @rashford
Assoc Librarian / Asst Professor
George Fox University
Guiding Learners Toward Digital Fluency
‘We are all teachers and we are all
learners’- Harvard President Drew Faust
Unsplash By Matthew Wiebe
The NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Ed Edition -
Significant Challenges Impeding Ed Tech Adoption
in Higher Education:
“Low Digital Fluency of Faculty”
And in the 2015 Horizon Report , again under the
Significant Challenges category:
“Adequately Defining and Supporting Digital
“Another facet of this challenge is in the attitude shift
required of instructors; if they are reluctant to
embrace new technologies and the promotion of
digital literacy, students will not see the importance
of these competencies to succeed in the work-
force.”–Horizon Report 2015
Digital Literacy is the ability to use
information and communication
technologies to find, evaluate, create,
and communicate information,
requiring both cognitive and technical
- American Library Association http://connect.ala.org/node/181197
Digital literacy is the knowledge,
skills, and behaviors used in a
broad range of digital devices such
as smartphones, tablets, laptops
and desktop PCs, all of which are
seen as network rather than
We define digital literacies as the capabilities
which fit someone for living, learning and
working in a digital society. – JISC
Jisc 7 Elements of Digital Literacies
And associated competencies
• Media Literacy
Critically read and creatively produce academic and professional
communications in a range of media.
• Communications and collaboration
Participate in digital networks for learning and research.
• Career and identity management
Manage digital reputation and online identity.
• ICT literacy
Adopt, adapt and use digital devices, applications and services.
• Learning skills
Study and learn effectively in technology-rich environments, formal
• Digital Scholarship
Participate in emerging academic, professional and research
practices that depend on digital systems.
• Information Literacy
Find, interpret, evaluate, manage and share information
Digital Literacy as a Developmental Process
“Literacy is about development so understanding
digital literacy in this way is important; we acquire language
and become increasingly proficient over time and
eventually reach a level of fluency.”
Beetham and Sharpe ‘pyramid model’ of digital literacy development model (2010)
A recent change in the academic library world:
Metaliteracy – Framework for Information
Literacy for Higher Education
In addition, this Framework draws
significantly upon the concept of
metaliteracy,7 which offers a renewed vision
of information literacy as an overarching set
of abilities in which students are consumers
and creators of information who can
participate successfully in collaborative
Filed by the ACRL Board February 2, 2015 http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
DIGITAL LITERACY and why it matters
Video: University of Derby
Digital literacy skills are needed to:
help students become employable > know new
ways to learn > assessed work is submitted
electronically and feedback given online >
communicating and collaborating on content can be
facilitated through a variety of online platforms
“With all these new opportunities come new
requirements and responsibilities for everybody. We
need to understand how to evaluate and look at the
authenticity and validity of the wealth of information
available to us.”
Digital Fluency is the aptitude to
effectively and ethically interpret
information, discover meaning, design
content, construct knowledge, and
communicate ideas in a digitally
7 Elements of Digital Literacies
- Participate in emerging academic, professional and
research practices that depend on digital systems.
“Digital technologies have transformed how
knowledge is embodied, organized,
disseminated, and preserved. Use of these
technologies has the potential to expand
and equalize access to cultural and scholarly
resources across sectors of society.” –
Mellon Foundation https://mellon.org/programs/scholarly-communications/
Digital humanities is an area of research and teaching
at the intersection of computing and the disciplines of
the humanities. Digital humanities embraces a variety
of topics, from curating online collections to data
mining large cultural data sets. -Wikipedia
"Humanités Numériques" by Calvinius - Own work :
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –http://goo.gl/t2fy7r
UCLA Digital Humanities Research Projects
UIUC Digital Humanities
Digital Thoreau is a resource and a community
dedicated to promoting the deliberate reading of
Thoreau’s works in new ways, ways that take
advantage of technology to illuminate Thoreau’s
creative process and facilitate thoughtful
conversation about his words and ideas.
Career and Identity Management Literacy
Manage digital reputation and online identity
Digital Identity Is how to represent your best
authentic self online. It is taking control of what
others see and find about you online.
-Paul Gordon Brown
Unsplash By Matthew Wiebe
While none of us can control everything that is known
about us online, there are steps we can take to better
understand our online identities and be empowered
to share what we want, when we want. - Internet society
Unsplash / By Luis Llerena
New Media Literacies, Web 2.0, Social Media
"Web 2.0 Map” by Markus AngermeierVectorised and linked version by Luca Cremonini
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0
“Web 2.0 describes World Wide Web sites that emphasize
user-generated content, usability, and interoperability.”
The influence of participatory culture on education
De v e l o p i n g D i g i t a l S k i l l s
Inquiry, play, & exploration
Digital Fluency Boise State Univ
“We believe this aptitude thrives
when inquiry, play, and
exploration are valued and
encouraged as meaningful learnin
Guide: Twitter for Teaching & Learning
CURATING & SHARING
Sharing your best content
Storify, Scoop.it, Pinterest, etc.
by sea turtle on flickr
Adopt, adapt and use digital devices, applications and services
Mobile device ownership continues to
increase, with 86% of undergraduates
owning a smartphone in 2014 (up from
76% in 2013) and nearly half of
students (47%) owning a tablet (up
from 31% in 2013).
EDUCAUSE CENTER FOR ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH - 2014
Changing librarian roles - Guides & Tools:
Mobile Apps for Research & Education
Digital Content: Library E-books & DRM
(Digital Rights Management)
E-book guides: Because using library e-books on
any device is not as simple as we’d like
Teaching Library Research Classes on Mobile
(For programs gone mobile – iPad & tablet initiatives, etc.)
Blog Post: http://librarianbydesign.blogspot.com/2012/06/teaching-library-research-on-ipad.html
Digital Fluency Efforts by Colleges and Universities
Boise State University
Proposal for UMW Digital Learning Initiative
Penn Stae “Consuming and Creating in the Digital Age: How Fluent Are You?”
Digital Fluency Initiative–George Fox University
This wordle was generated from faculty comments regarding perceived
needs for technology on the GFU campus from the Digital literacy at
George Fox University Faculty Survey administerd on Dec. 14th, 2014.
Over 152 responses were recorded.
Diigital Fluency Initiatives – George Fox University
Email (partial) to Faculty from the Provost, May 2015:
Introducing The Digital Fluency Initiative
We are pleased to announce that the university has
provided faculty development funds in support of The
Digital Fluency Initiative, a program designed to
support faculty in the use of pedagogically-informed
This summer we will launch a 1-year pilot with 15
faculty and a team of faculty mentors. In addition, we
will be joined this fall by about 10 newly hired faculty.
Faculty who wish to participate can apply via the online
3 Reasons We Fear Technology:
1) Fear of Dissonance
2) Fear of Losing Your Job
3) Fear of Perception
Inside Higher Ed article by Eric Stoller
Fear of Perception: “No one wants to look
like they don't know something in front of
their peers. Okay, maybe some people are
okay with it, but most professionals seem
to have a lot of anxiety around the
perception of not knowing something…If
you don't know how to use a new
technology, don't worry, everyone else is
figuring it out, too.”
This boy has a great attitude about failure
R o b i n M . A s h f o r d - A b o u t M e
Unsplash By Matthew Wiebe