Sarah Payton & Tabetha Newman

The EU describes it as digital competency.  Lots of debate about what it is, but if we’re talking policy at institutions, it’s important to know what you are seeking to implement.

Recommended books:

Great (simple) definition of digital literacies:

Arguments against “digital natives”:

Students often get disheartened when they search the web. They have NO idea what kind of material they should be looking for – which should be embedded into their work.

Students need to move beyond practitioner training, and into being strong independent learners, who are confident to go off and try for themselves. May increase employability, but not necessarily attainment as it’s currently identified.

We have to accept that ‘new’ is here to stay, and that we will no longer be ‘masters’. We are encouraging students more to deal with “the gray”, rather than  seeing things in black & white [the project research focused on primary & secondary, but was seen to be applicable to HE in most respects].

Assessment needs to change, to ensure that students will NEED to remix the information that’s available, rather than the “digital parrot” [my words!]

Mentioned in the chat:

Majority of support available is processes. We need more developmental models to incorporate into teaching practice, e.g.

European Union – recognized the need for more training for a knowledge economy (rather than a production economy), see

The EU 14 areas of digital competence:

Really needs to be a communication tool, but this overcomplicates things, so return back to the 3 simpler things mentioned above.

Sarah Payton:

Confidence vs competence with digital tools, see also

A components model:

Not about using particular technologies, but about particular practices that we want students [and staff!] to use and allowing them to find the tools. [How do we support them in doing so?]


Friday 4th May 2012, 13:00-14:00 (BST); Online via Blackboard Collaborate

Facilitators: Tabetha Newman & Sarah Payton

Over the past five years the concept of digital literacy has been of increasing interest and importance in UK education research, across all sectors. At around the same time that JISC started the Learning Literacies in a Digital Age project (2008), two other notable projects began:

  1. A review of definitions and models of digital literacy, covering all sectors and ages, which then led to various conference talks and the creation of resources for use in primary schools (carried out by Tabetha Newman on behalf of Becta), and
  2. The Digital Participation research project, run by the independent research organisation ‘Futurelab’, who worked with practising educators, experts and children in primary and secondary schools to explore how digital literacy could be developed within a range of school subjects (on which Sarah Payton was a lead researcher).

Since then, the outputs of these projects have come to the attention of European Union education policy makers – who are currently incorporating the work into EU policy research on ‘Digital Competence’ (one of the eight EU Key Competences for Lifelong Learning).

This webinar will provide an overview of these wider UK and European Digital Literacy contexts. We will:

We aim to present this information before initiating discussion about, amongst other things:

3 Responses

  1. I would have described the whole idea as “Information Literacy” or even “Information Handling”. The fact that the information is stored on a computer in a digital format is really irrelevant to this. However this idea now about information handling is very important and particularly useful for learning. I have noticed my kids have no idea how to find information they need using a google search. They often type in a whole sentence of exactly what they want and it comes back with nothing useful. What they need to do is sit back and think – what broad categories should I be entering into the search in order to find what I need and even “who” put this information online and what are they likely to have called it, so that I can find it.

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