Module 2 – Defining Digital Literacy

Roblyer & Doering (2014) define digital literacy as, “skills using the information that technological devices carry, in addition to skills using the devices themselves.”

UNESCO (2005 as cited in Ahmed, 2001) defines literacy as, “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.”

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2017) defines literacy as “encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school.”

Reflecting on the foregoing definitions the “skills in using information that technological devices carry” in Roblyer and Doering’s definition of digital literacy can be deconstructed as accessing, identifying, understanding, interpreting, creating, communicating, computing, analysing, evaluating and presenting information as well as interacting and participating socially using digital devices.  The “skills in using the devices themselves” in Roblyer and Doering’s definition signals that these skills are inextricably linked to the literacy affordances of digital devices.

Conceptions of literacy in the context of technology are vastly broader than those still stated in dictionaries focusing on reading and writing (e.g. Oxford Dictionary

Concepts of literacy and digital literacy are fluid reflecting the rapid rate of change in patterns of communication and information creation and sharing. For example, a key characteristic of digital literacy is its dynamic nature (Angyanywe, 2012, 16 May) as reflected in the almost instantaneous remix of content (Belshaw, 2012, 23 March).


Ahmed, M. (2011). Defining and measuring literacy: Facing the reality. Int Rev Educ, 57:179-195. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2017). Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from

Anyangwe, E. (2012, May 16). 20 ways of thinking about digital literacy in higher education. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Belshaw, D. (2012, 23 March). The essential elements of digital literacies [Video]. TedX Talks. YouTube URL:

Roblyer, M., & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.


Author: simonromijn

Science Teacher

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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