From an EU perspective digital literacy is about lifeskills. The recently concluded eLearning Programme had as a stated agend the intention to “… encourage the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that we all need for personal and professional development and for active participation in an information-driven society. It will also address ICT’s contribution to learning, especially for those who, due to their geographical location, socio-economic situation or special needs, do not have easy access to traditional education and training.”
That’s a fairly broadly cast net. And when you think about it the ‘new skills’ and ‘knowledge’ and the precise ‘contribution to learning’ are stated rather than detailed.
But if you as ICT specialists in preparation are to practice in this area you will need a more thorough and well-rounded set of understandings than that.
The best articulations I have come across so far of digital literacy, its deep nature, and its affordances comes out of the DigEuLit project – an 18-month project drawing in 11 partner institutions form a variety of EU countries and co-ordinated by Allan Martin of the University of Glasgow ITEU. The working papers that the project produced go deep into this issue — in a useful and accessible way.
I suggest that some time spent on the project’s website would be time very well spent. It’s here.
Start with the Background and the treatment of Digital Literacy linked out from the home page. Then click through to the project materials under Public Documents. The Landscape of Digital Literacy is an excellent introduction to the subject and the Challenges for Education paper also worth a close reading. Under Project Working Papers you will find a short account of the project as it unfolded, a copy of a paper read at a major distance education conference and a Digital Literacy framework that the project developed and tested. All well worth some of your time…