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Digital Literacy:
Fad or Fundamental?
UCL Digital Literacy Symposium | 7 January 2016
Helen Beetham
#digilitUCL
‘Digital’ as a term in UK HE
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Com
putersin
Teaching
Initiative
Teaching
&
Learning
TechnologyProg
Networked
Learning
JISC
e-learning
program
m
e
Benchm
arking
e-Learning
Technology-Enhanced
Learning
Developing
DigitalLiteracies
Changing
Learning
Landscapes
Digitalstudent
Digitalcapabilities
Before digital literacy there was...
Learning Literacies for a Digital Age
Study (2009-10)
‣ working definition
‣ development pyramid
‣ 7-element framework
those capabilities that
allow an individual to
thrive (live, learn and
work) in a digital society
“
”
access
situated
practices
functional
skills
identity:
attributes
Learning Literacies for a Digital Age
study (2009-10)
‣ working definition
‣ development pyramid
‣ 7-element framework I am...
I do...
I can...
I have...
To aspire beyond functional skills
To reach beyond the specialists
Learning Literacies for a Digital Age
study (2009-10)
‣ working definition
‣ development pyramid
‣ 7-element framework
‣ a foundational
knowledge or capability or
set of practices
‣ a cultural entitlement
‣ meaning-making
‣ continuously developed
‣ socially and culturally
situated/specific
‣ an aspect of identity
‣ new forms of
knowledge, know-
how, practice,
method,
pedagogy,
representation...
‣ the changing
experiences and
expectations of
learners
‘Digital’
‘Literacy’
To generate critical debate
How did that go?
‣ Mainstream
‣ Research and development funding
‣ Leadership/management agenda
‣ QAA Review topic
‣ New/revised questions in NSS/Student Engagement:
other surveys and KPIs
‣Radical? Critical? Scholarly? Embedded?
Sherry Turkle meets David Mitchell
Radio 4 in Four
Less focused, self-disciplined, persevering,
able to cope with boredom...
iflscience.com
The Internet is rewiring our brains
‘Technologies are infantilising
the brain into the state
of small children who ... have
a small attention span and
who live for the moment.’
Daily Mail (2010)
‘Popularized representations
of neuroplasticity obscure the
complicated conceptual and
ontological entanglement
between natural, social,and
cultural realms ...’ Choudhury
and McKinney (2013).
How fundamental are these changes?
‘Writing is a technology that
restructures thought.’
For example: linear rather
than cyclical time; spatial/
visual as well as time-based/
aural; reproducible;
transmissible; separable from
the embodied moment;
enabling ‘inward turn of ego-
consciousness’ or reflexivity;
loss of sensory richness...
Walter Ong:
Orality and Literacy
...brought about by networked digital devices?
‣ screen-based interface
‣ highly visual
‣ data rather than text(s)
‣ reconfigurable, multiple
‣ access virtually cost free,
virtually simultaneous
‣ constant recording
‣ places and events are porous: here and not-here
‣ information/communication, production/consumption,
tools/texts constantly crossing into one another
How fundamental are the changes...
content
theory method
practice
How fundamental are the changes in the
life of the University?
The real digital innovations will depend on
your discipline area...
screen capture from iai.tv/iai.academy
73% under 35s >90% new jobs 7-10 careers
>98% of all
information
43.5% graduates 1.4m ‘micro’ firms
36% UK jobs
(40% US jobs)
2.5% EU jobs 4-20% learners
How fundamental in the lives of graduates?
Pick a number... any number...
with thanks to Simon Rae 2015
How fundamental in the lives of students?
How fundamental in the lives of students?
Who owns students’ learning data?
What should it be used for?
Digital change is profound
and should be addressed within the curriculum as
a series of critical explorations
‣ not as a received solution e.g. the ‘digitally capable
graduate’, the ‘digital economy’
‣ but situated in the concerns of the subject/discipline
‣ ideally in a critical pedagogy tradition (not ‘we know,
we teach you’)
‣ ...
Example: followthethings
www.followthethings.com
Example: BYOD4L
https://byod4learning.wordpress.com/topics/
Example: PhonarNation
CC phonarnation 2015
Example: authentic research
using open data
UCL’s Connected Curriculum (Fung 2014)
Over to you
‣ How does my discipline advance our
understanding of the digital revolution?
‣ How does my discipline equip students
to thrive in a digital society & economy?
‣ What does my discipline have to say
about living well in a digital world?
#DigiLitUCL
Framing digital literacy
as a creative, critical practice
ICT proficiency (core skills)
Information, media and data
literacy (critical use)
Creation, scholarship and
innovation (creative production)
Communication, collaboration
and participation (engagement)
Learning and self-development
Identity and well-being

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Helen Beetham UCL DL SIG

  • 1. Digital Literacy: Fad or Fundamental? UCL Digital Literacy Symposium | 7 January 2016 Helen Beetham #digilitUCL
  • 2. ‘Digital’ as a term in UK HE 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Com putersin Teaching Initiative Teaching & Learning TechnologyProg Networked Learning JISC e-learning program m e Benchm arking e-Learning Technology-Enhanced Learning Developing DigitalLiteracies Changing Learning Landscapes Digitalstudent Digitalcapabilities
  • 3. Before digital literacy there was... Learning Literacies for a Digital Age Study (2009-10) ‣ working definition ‣ development pyramid ‣ 7-element framework those capabilities that allow an individual to thrive (live, learn and work) in a digital society “ ”
  • 4. access situated practices functional skills identity: attributes Learning Literacies for a Digital Age study (2009-10) ‣ working definition ‣ development pyramid ‣ 7-element framework I am... I do... I can... I have... To aspire beyond functional skills
  • 5. To reach beyond the specialists Learning Literacies for a Digital Age study (2009-10) ‣ working definition ‣ development pyramid ‣ 7-element framework
  • 6. ‣ a foundational knowledge or capability or set of practices ‣ a cultural entitlement ‣ meaning-making ‣ continuously developed ‣ socially and culturally situated/specific ‣ an aspect of identity ‣ new forms of knowledge, know- how, practice, method, pedagogy, representation... ‣ the changing experiences and expectations of learners ‘Digital’ ‘Literacy’ To generate critical debate
  • 7. How did that go? ‣ Mainstream ‣ Research and development funding ‣ Leadership/management agenda ‣ QAA Review topic ‣ New/revised questions in NSS/Student Engagement: other surveys and KPIs ‣Radical? Critical? Scholarly? Embedded?
  • 8. Sherry Turkle meets David Mitchell Radio 4 in Four
  • 9. Less focused, self-disciplined, persevering, able to cope with boredom... iflscience.com
  • 10. The Internet is rewiring our brains ‘Technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who ... have a small attention span and who live for the moment.’ Daily Mail (2010) ‘Popularized representations of neuroplasticity obscure the complicated conceptual and ontological entanglement between natural, social,and cultural realms ...’ Choudhury and McKinney (2013).
  • 11. How fundamental are these changes? ‘Writing is a technology that restructures thought.’ For example: linear rather than cyclical time; spatial/ visual as well as time-based/ aural; reproducible; transmissible; separable from the embodied moment; enabling ‘inward turn of ego- consciousness’ or reflexivity; loss of sensory richness... Walter Ong: Orality and Literacy
  • 12. ...brought about by networked digital devices? ‣ screen-based interface ‣ highly visual ‣ data rather than text(s) ‣ reconfigurable, multiple ‣ access virtually cost free, virtually simultaneous ‣ constant recording ‣ places and events are porous: here and not-here ‣ information/communication, production/consumption, tools/texts constantly crossing into one another How fundamental are the changes...
  • 13. content theory method practice How fundamental are the changes in the life of the University?
  • 14. The real digital innovations will depend on your discipline area... screen capture from iai.tv/iai.academy
  • 15. 73% under 35s >90% new jobs 7-10 careers >98% of all information 43.5% graduates 1.4m ‘micro’ firms 36% UK jobs (40% US jobs) 2.5% EU jobs 4-20% learners How fundamental in the lives of graduates? Pick a number... any number...
  • 16. with thanks to Simon Rae 2015 How fundamental in the lives of students?
  • 17. How fundamental in the lives of students? Who owns students’ learning data? What should it be used for?
  • 18. Digital change is profound and should be addressed within the curriculum as a series of critical explorations ‣ not as a received solution e.g. the ‘digitally capable graduate’, the ‘digital economy’ ‣ but situated in the concerns of the subject/discipline ‣ ideally in a critical pedagogy tradition (not ‘we know, we teach you’) ‣ ...
  • 22. Example: authentic research using open data UCL’s Connected Curriculum (Fung 2014)
  • 23. Over to you ‣ How does my discipline advance our understanding of the digital revolution? ‣ How does my discipline equip students to thrive in a digital society & economy? ‣ What does my discipline have to say about living well in a digital world? #DigiLitUCL
  • 24. Framing digital literacy as a creative, critical practice ICT proficiency (core skills) Information, media and data literacy (critical use) Creation, scholarship and innovation (creative production) Communication, collaboration and participation (engagement) Learning and self-development Identity and well-being