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EDUCATION SCOTLAND
D I G I TAL L I T E R AC Y
E X P L O R AT I O N G R O U P
C R O S S - C U T T I N G C U R R I C U LU M
WO R K S H O P - D I G I TA L L I T E R A C Y
T H U RS D AY 2 3 R D M AY 2 0 2 4
Andy McLaughlin
University of Aberdeen
WHAT IS “LITERATE”?
• Conceptual definitions - digital literacy as a general idea or ideal
• Lanham (1995) “literacy” has extended its semantic reach from meaning “the
ability to read and write” to now meaning “the ability to understand
information however presented
• Fluency model c.f. Digital Natives myth
• Standardized operational definitions - “operationalize” what is
involved
• To be digitally literate in terms of certain tasks, performances,
demonstrations of skills, etc., and advance these as a standard for general
adoption
• Competency model c.f. Platformisation of education
PLATFORM PROMOTED SKILLS
Apple Google Microsoft
Connected Communication Skilled communication
Collaborative Collaboration Collaboration
Creative Creativity Real-world problem solving and
innovation
Personal Critical thinking Knowledge construction
Self-regulation
Information and communication
technology (ICT) for learning
DIGITAL
LITERACIES
OR
DIGITAL
SKILLS
1980s
Used
by
humans
Computer literacy
Computer skills
• basic programming commands
• formatting a floppy disk
1990s
Internet literacy
Web skills
• navigating hypertext
• building web-pages
2000s
Cyber safety
‘21st Century Skills’
• online communication
• creativity
• collaboration
2010s
Media and Information
Literacy
• viral content
• Misinformation
• fake news
2020s
Used
on
humans
Algorithmic literacy
• automated decision-making
• Algorithmic technologies
• ‘AI’ technologies
Selwyn, 2022
NEW DIGITAL LITERACIES
How do we prepare children and young people to:
• recognise when data-driven automated systems are being used;
• have a basic understanding of how these data-driven automated systems work – what Tania
Bucher describes as an ‘algorithmic imaginary’;
• know how to work with algorithmic systems – for example, writing with a natural language
processing tool so that it helps (rather than hinders) your creativity;
• know how to work around algorithmic systems – for example, using obfuscation tactics to avoid
dataveillance;
• recognise when human input and outsight is required – for example, knowing when to override an
automated decision, or push back against algorithmic bias and automated discrimination.
Selwyn, 2022
POST-DIGITAL THEORY
• Embeddedness of digital technologies across
public and private life
• Emergence of postdigital societies, in which the
absence of digital technologies is noticed more
than their presence
• Today’s students must navigate an environment in
which digital devices, spaces and networks frame
ways of seeing, thinking and being.
Webster (2023)
“Despite the pervasive nature of digital
technology, its benefits are not always fully felt
within our education establishments”
Scottish Government (2016)
YSKILLS PROJECT (LSE & EU HORIZON
2020)
• Lack of standarised approach leads to a variation in opportunities for children and young people
to engage with the internet and digital media
• Digital literacy includes elements of media literacy, such as critical information literacy (Wuyckens
et al., 2022)
• ySKILLS project recommended future policy work focus on the development of digital literacy as a
precise and core concept
Ní Bhroin, N., Krutzinna, J. & Staksrud, E. (2023)
Digital skills =
technical and operational skills
information navigation and processing
skills
communication and interaction skills
content creation and production skills
DIGITAL SKILLS
+
DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE
DIGITAL LITERACY
DETECT – Developing Teachers’ Critical Digital Literacies (detectproject.eu) in Gouseti et al
(2024)
TECHNOLOGY USE
• Critical technical skills
• Computational thinking
• Technology risks and
troubleshooting
DATA LITERACIES
• Data analytics
• Data protection & data
safety
• Big and Open data
• Data visualisation
INFORMATION LITERACIES
• Digital media use
• Online reading
comprehension
• Online inquiry process
• Source validation and
verification
DIGITAL CONTENT CREATION
• Creative digital expression
• Co-creation
• Multimodal production
• Digital publishing
• Remixing
DIGITAL TEACHING & LEARNING
• Digital pedagogical methods
• Learning analytics
• Digital learning ecologies
DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
• Rights and responsibilities
• Sustainable use
• Digital civic engagement
DIGITAL WELLBEING & SAFETY
• Empowerment
• Online Safety
• Digital overexposure
• Digital selfhood
• Digital belonging
• Ergonomics
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION &
COLLABORATION
• Online communications
• Online collaboration
• Digital empathy
• Networking
• Digital identity and profiles
CHALLENGES
• Children and young people are quick to adopt and experiment with new possibilities, but they
should not be left alone in this or rely only on the influence of peers or the supervision of
parents.
• Digitality stretches across the curriculum. Teaching new digital competencies in schools cannot
be a responsibility of an individual teacher, but a collaborative activity of teachers and all
members in the school community.
Gouseti et al (2024)
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
• Nordic
• curricula share an emphasis on societal issues and a critical and ethical approach. Godhe
(2019)
• policy shift from technological competence to stretched out interpretation of digital
competences that includes dimensions that acknowledge citizens’ role in the digitalised
society. Olofsson et al. (2021)
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
• How do we ensure our teachers and schools
• get resources, training and guidelines on how to provide educational opportunities related to digitality equally for all?
• balance the opportunities with students’ well-being?
• find meaningful pedagogical practices based on visions of digitality in the future?
• Does the current national curriculum address the increasingly complex range of critical digital literacies
required for teaching, learning and living in a digital world?
• How do we support teachers and students with developing not only technical skills but a critical
understanding of how to navigate digital environments and participate in a digitised world safely, responsibly
and ethically?
• How do we ensure consistency of baselines across CLD, SDS, SLIC and the essential digital skills
framework? (After all, the parents must come on the same journey as the kids)
Gouseti et al (2024)
REFERENCES
• GODHE, A.-L. (2019). Digital literacies or digital competence: Conceptualizations in Nordic curricula. Media and Communication, 7(2), 25–35.
https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1888
• GOUSETI, A., ILOMÄKI, L., LAKKALA, M. (2024). Re-thinking Critical Digital Literacies in the Context of Compulsory Education. In: DUNN, H.S., RAGNEDDA, M., RUIU, M.L.,
ROBINSON, L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Everyday Digital Life . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-30438-5_15
• LANHAM, R. (1995). Digital literacy, Scientific American, 273(3), 160–161
https://www.jstor.org/stable/24981795
• LCOM TEAM (2024), Digital Literacy in 2024: 7 Important Computer Skills for Future-Ready Students
https://www.learning.com/blog/digital-literacy-in-2024/
• NÍ BHROIN, N., KRUTZINNA, J. & STAKSRUD, E. (2023). ySKILLS – Children and young people (aged 12-17)’s digital skills: Evidence-based recommendations for policy and
practice. KU Leuven: ySKILLS
https://zenodo.org/records/10252368
• OLOFSSON, A. D., LINDBERG, J. O., YOUNG PEDERSEN, A., ARSTORP, A.-T., DALSGAARD, C., EINUM, E., CAVIGLIA, F., ILOMÄKI, L., VEERMANS, M., HÄKKINEN, P., &
WILLERMARK, S. (2021). Digital competence across boundaries – Beyond a common Nordic model of the digitalisation of K-12 schools? Education Inquiry, 12(4), 317–328.
https://doi.org/10.1080/20004508.2021.1976454
• SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT (2016), Enhancing Learning And Teaching Through The Use Of Digital Technology.
https://www.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/documents/
• SELWYN, N (2022), What should ‘digital literacy’ look like in an age of algorithms and AI? https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/parenting4digitalfuture/2022/04/06/digital-literacy-and-ai/
• WEBSTER, J. Updating Digital Citizenship Education for a Postdigital Society. NZ J Educ Stud (2023).
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-023-00305-3

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What is Digital Literacy? A guest blog from Andy McLaughlin, University of Aberdeen

  • 1. EDUCATION SCOTLAND D I G I TAL L I T E R AC Y E X P L O R AT I O N G R O U P C R O S S - C U T T I N G C U R R I C U LU M WO R K S H O P - D I G I TA L L I T E R A C Y T H U RS D AY 2 3 R D M AY 2 0 2 4 Andy McLaughlin University of Aberdeen
  • 2. WHAT IS “LITERATE”? • Conceptual definitions - digital literacy as a general idea or ideal • Lanham (1995) “literacy” has extended its semantic reach from meaning “the ability to read and write” to now meaning “the ability to understand information however presented • Fluency model c.f. Digital Natives myth • Standardized operational definitions - “operationalize” what is involved • To be digitally literate in terms of certain tasks, performances, demonstrations of skills, etc., and advance these as a standard for general adoption • Competency model c.f. Platformisation of education
  • 3. PLATFORM PROMOTED SKILLS Apple Google Microsoft Connected Communication Skilled communication Collaborative Collaboration Collaboration Creative Creativity Real-world problem solving and innovation Personal Critical thinking Knowledge construction Self-regulation Information and communication technology (ICT) for learning
  • 4. DIGITAL LITERACIES OR DIGITAL SKILLS 1980s Used by humans Computer literacy Computer skills • basic programming commands • formatting a floppy disk 1990s Internet literacy Web skills • navigating hypertext • building web-pages 2000s Cyber safety ‘21st Century Skills’ • online communication • creativity • collaboration 2010s Media and Information Literacy • viral content • Misinformation • fake news 2020s Used on humans Algorithmic literacy • automated decision-making • Algorithmic technologies • ‘AI’ technologies Selwyn, 2022
  • 5. NEW DIGITAL LITERACIES How do we prepare children and young people to: • recognise when data-driven automated systems are being used; • have a basic understanding of how these data-driven automated systems work – what Tania Bucher describes as an ‘algorithmic imaginary’; • know how to work with algorithmic systems – for example, writing with a natural language processing tool so that it helps (rather than hinders) your creativity; • know how to work around algorithmic systems – for example, using obfuscation tactics to avoid dataveillance; • recognise when human input and outsight is required – for example, knowing when to override an automated decision, or push back against algorithmic bias and automated discrimination. Selwyn, 2022
  • 6. POST-DIGITAL THEORY • Embeddedness of digital technologies across public and private life • Emergence of postdigital societies, in which the absence of digital technologies is noticed more than their presence • Today’s students must navigate an environment in which digital devices, spaces and networks frame ways of seeing, thinking and being. Webster (2023)
  • 7. “Despite the pervasive nature of digital technology, its benefits are not always fully felt within our education establishments” Scottish Government (2016)
  • 8. YSKILLS PROJECT (LSE & EU HORIZON 2020) • Lack of standarised approach leads to a variation in opportunities for children and young people to engage with the internet and digital media • Digital literacy includes elements of media literacy, such as critical information literacy (Wuyckens et al., 2022) • ySKILLS project recommended future policy work focus on the development of digital literacy as a precise and core concept Ní Bhroin, N., Krutzinna, J. & Staksrud, E. (2023) Digital skills = technical and operational skills information navigation and processing skills communication and interaction skills content creation and production skills
  • 10. DETECT – Developing Teachers’ Critical Digital Literacies (detectproject.eu) in Gouseti et al (2024) TECHNOLOGY USE • Critical technical skills • Computational thinking • Technology risks and troubleshooting DATA LITERACIES • Data analytics • Data protection & data safety • Big and Open data • Data visualisation INFORMATION LITERACIES • Digital media use • Online reading comprehension • Online inquiry process • Source validation and verification DIGITAL CONTENT CREATION • Creative digital expression • Co-creation • Multimodal production • Digital publishing • Remixing DIGITAL TEACHING & LEARNING • Digital pedagogical methods • Learning analytics • Digital learning ecologies DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP • Rights and responsibilities • Sustainable use • Digital civic engagement DIGITAL WELLBEING & SAFETY • Empowerment • Online Safety • Digital overexposure • Digital selfhood • Digital belonging • Ergonomics DIGITAL COMMUNICATION & COLLABORATION • Online communications • Online collaboration • Digital empathy • Networking • Digital identity and profiles
  • 11. CHALLENGES • Children and young people are quick to adopt and experiment with new possibilities, but they should not be left alone in this or rely only on the influence of peers or the supervision of parents. • Digitality stretches across the curriculum. Teaching new digital competencies in schools cannot be a responsibility of an individual teacher, but a collaborative activity of teachers and all members in the school community. Gouseti et al (2024)
  • 12. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE • Nordic • curricula share an emphasis on societal issues and a critical and ethical approach. Godhe (2019) • policy shift from technological competence to stretched out interpretation of digital competences that includes dimensions that acknowledge citizens’ role in the digitalised society. Olofsson et al. (2021)
  • 13. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER • How do we ensure our teachers and schools • get resources, training and guidelines on how to provide educational opportunities related to digitality equally for all? • balance the opportunities with students’ well-being? • find meaningful pedagogical practices based on visions of digitality in the future? • Does the current national curriculum address the increasingly complex range of critical digital literacies required for teaching, learning and living in a digital world? • How do we support teachers and students with developing not only technical skills but a critical understanding of how to navigate digital environments and participate in a digitised world safely, responsibly and ethically? • How do we ensure consistency of baselines across CLD, SDS, SLIC and the essential digital skills framework? (After all, the parents must come on the same journey as the kids) Gouseti et al (2024)
  • 14. REFERENCES • GODHE, A.-L. (2019). Digital literacies or digital competence: Conceptualizations in Nordic curricula. Media and Communication, 7(2), 25–35. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1888 • GOUSETI, A., ILOMÄKI, L., LAKKALA, M. (2024). Re-thinking Critical Digital Literacies in the Context of Compulsory Education. In: DUNN, H.S., RAGNEDDA, M., RUIU, M.L., ROBINSON, L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Everyday Digital Life . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-30438-5_15 • LANHAM, R. (1995). Digital literacy, Scientific American, 273(3), 160–161 https://www.jstor.org/stable/24981795 • LCOM TEAM (2024), Digital Literacy in 2024: 7 Important Computer Skills for Future-Ready Students https://www.learning.com/blog/digital-literacy-in-2024/ • NÍ BHROIN, N., KRUTZINNA, J. & STAKSRUD, E. (2023). ySKILLS – Children and young people (aged 12-17)’s digital skills: Evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice. KU Leuven: ySKILLS https://zenodo.org/records/10252368 • OLOFSSON, A. D., LINDBERG, J. O., YOUNG PEDERSEN, A., ARSTORP, A.-T., DALSGAARD, C., EINUM, E., CAVIGLIA, F., ILOMÄKI, L., VEERMANS, M., HÄKKINEN, P., & WILLERMARK, S. (2021). Digital competence across boundaries – Beyond a common Nordic model of the digitalisation of K-12 schools? Education Inquiry, 12(4), 317–328. https://doi.org/10.1080/20004508.2021.1976454 • SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT (2016), Enhancing Learning And Teaching Through The Use Of Digital Technology. https://www.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/documents/ • SELWYN, N (2022), What should ‘digital literacy’ look like in an age of algorithms and AI? https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/parenting4digitalfuture/2022/04/06/digital-literacy-and-ai/ • WEBSTER, J. Updating Digital Citizenship Education for a Postdigital Society. NZ J Educ Stud (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-023-00305-3

Editor's Notes

  1. recognising when data-driven automated systems are being used; having a basic understanding of how these data-driven automated systems work – what Tania Bucher describes as an ‘algorithmic imaginary’; knowing how to work with algorithmic systems – for example, writing with a natural language processing tool so that it helps (rather than hinders) your creativity; knowing how to work around algorithmic systems – for example, using obfuscation tactics to avoid dataveillance; recognising when human input and outsight is required – for example, knowing when to override an automated decision, or push back against algorithmic bias and automated discrimination.