Digital literacies for academic learning involves more than Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter and the associated technical skills in using these technologies.

As you explore the concept, you will find online resources which confuse digital skills with digital literacies. The activities which follow aim to provide an initial introduction to the wide range of digital literacies associated with academic learning. We will explore the concept of digital literacies in greater depth as we progress with the course. When exploring these online resources, we encourage you to differentiate between skills and literacies and to develop a critical disposition. Digtial literacies involve issues, norms, and habits of mind surrounding technologies used for a particular purpose. However, these literacies are closely related to technical proficiency in using a range of digital applications.


Seven elements of digital literacies

Purpose: To consider the scope of digital literacies and associated technology tools.

Digital literacies encompasses a wide range of capabilities which extend beyond the digital skills associated with different technologies.

  1. Study the graphic depicting the Seven elements of digital literacies (scroll down the page to view the graphic).
  2. Jot down one or more technologies or tools you would recommend for each of the seven elements in the graphic and assess your competence in using each particular technology/tool (eg below average, average, above average and excellent).


Self-assessment of digital literacies

Purpose: Discover the range and scope of digital literacies (Don’t spend more than 15 to 20 minutes on the self-assessment activity).

  1. Conduct a Google search using: “digital literacy self-assessment
  2. Choose a link to conduct a self-assessment of your digital literacy.
  3. Alternatively, you can:
    • Try the iTest developed by the University of Exeter or
    • Explore the What is digital literacy? page of the Digital Literacies Toolkit developed by the University of Southampton.

Questions to consider

  1. Did the self-assessment you chose focus on digital skills or digital literacies?
  2. What did you learn from this exercise?

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