A Reflection on Digital Literacies and Me

Digital Literacy image

Does literacy = comfort level with communication? It depends on who you talk to.

Traditionally there are two definitions for literacy. The right side is more active.


There are also differing ideas on how we develop literacy



Digital literacy needs continuous maintenance. It is not just a leveling up experience (gold, silver and bronze users).
It is important that we do not view digital literacy as just one area but multiple facets: Digital literacies are PLURAL, SUBJECTIVE and highly CONTEXT –DEPENDENT @dajbelshaw

What are the Essential Elements needed for digital literacies?


This is how I see myself currently working to develop my digital literacies, during #etmooc.
Cultural = working in the context of the current culture.
I work with high school students and they are very much connected with their phones. Part of my cultural competence is to make myself familiar with apps, tweets, chats, meme’s and other areas which they will use to access information.
Cognitive = problem solving to be able to work with new technologies.
I demoed this during the digital story challenge when I worked with 14 new tools. Although each tool was different, as I moved through the challenge I found each new application easier to work with based on my previous experience and comfort with tinkering around.
Constructive = being able to use technology to create social action
For example Susan Spellman Cann and I noticed that there was not a general twitter forum for Canadian School Counsellors to connect so we developed #cscchat which was modeled on Dr Erin Mason’s #scchat for American counsellors.
Communication = a systematic awareness of how digital media is constructed.
For example learning to use RSS feeds, hash tags and scoop it to syndicate information on the web.
Confidence- your belief that you can solve and manage your own problems.
Since starting #etmooc I am less likely to call my tech up to my office to “fix” things. Remembering to use tools such the “help” function, or look up ideas on Youtube or Snapguide.
Creative the adoption of new technology requires teachers who are willing to take risks…. Allowing students freedom of choice for project formats is the key.
I experienced this with the pd session I co-facilitated with Susan Spellman Cann on Feb 1. We offered the counsellors in the session a variety of examples but then allowed them to take responsibility for their own learning… rather than prescribing the tools to learn.
Critical Thinking being aware of messages on the internet such as sources and context.
I reflected on this aspect a few weeks ago in a twitter chat with @susanvg and @jeanninestamand where I stated that I think that it’s important to teach kids about both giving and receiving constructive feedback. My favorite starter I teach my students is… an “I like (paired with an) I wonder” Susan also shared the following link with me for examples of other constructive criticism starters:

Blogging Comments

Civic- being able to use technology for everyday tasks such as employment opportunities, entertainment, education and learning more about what is going on around you.
I have developed this both through my Linked In account, RSS feeds, Huffington Post subscriptions, Following feed on Twitter etc..

I hope to continue to develop my various literacies as well as my reflective practice through the rest of #etmooc and beyond….

Print http://www.toyark.com

This post is based on T3S1 Digital Literacies with Dr. Doug Belshaw @dajbelshaw
Feb 18, 2013
• Slides from this session: http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2013/02/17/t3s1-digital-literacies-with-dr-doug-belshaw-etmooc/
• About Doug: http://about.me/dajbelshaw
• Contact doug@mozilafoundation.org
• Doug Belshaw (Mozilla Foundation) – Northumberland, England http://dougbelshaw.com
• Doctoral thesis (and really interesting and entertaining read, I can attest): http://neverendingthesis.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
• Doug’s Ted Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8yQPoTcZ78
• JISC: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/
• Mozilla Foundation blurb – http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/
• Webmaker (from Mozilla) – http://webmaker.org
• Towards a Web Literacy Standard: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Learning/WebLiteracyStandard
• Web Literacy White Paper: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Learning/WebLiteraciesWhitePaper
• The digital natives debate: A critical review of the evidence’ (2008): http://goo.gl/a72Nf


2 thoughts on “A Reflection on Digital Literacies and Me

  1. Since so much of what we’re already encountering in the current #etmooc module focuses on active participation as part of digital literacy, your listing of actions taken for each of Doug Belshaw’s eight essential elements of digital literacies seems to be a great example of what we’re being encouraged to achieve and foster. Thanks for taking the time to post your article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s