POST: On Digital Literacies

Lee Skallerup Bessette (University of Mary Washington), Autumn Caines (Capital University), and Maha Bali (American University in Cairo) co-authored a post on ProfHacker responding to The New Media Consortium’s report, “Strategic Brief on Digital Literacy.” Responding to five different points, the authors reflect on the relationship between organizations like The New Media Consortium and various educational technology corporations. The authors challenge the report’s conflation of digital tools with digital literacies:

Tools are not literacies, and in the same respect literacies are not tools. We need to respect tools for what they are and the relationship that they have to literacy without conflating the two. Each has its place but confusing them is harmful to what is really important ‚Äď the relationship between them. ¬†Tools are developed by toolmakers, those who use these tools then develop literacies to use them in critical and creative ways. Because there are uncritical and uncreative ways to use tools, this distinction between tools or functions and the experience that gives rise to the development of proficiencies and competencies is significant.

The authors also critique the strategic brief’s “lack of description of the variety in the field,” lack of mention of the human labor and role in adopting and teaching digital literacies, and unspecified methodology of selecting institutions mentioned in the brief.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Katherine Ahnberg, Caroline Barratt, Rebekah Cummings, Rebecca Dowson, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Vanessa Hannesschläger, Stephen Lingrell, Alicia Peaker, and Susan Powelson. (Editors-at-large for the week), Caro Pinto (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Roxanne Shirazi, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).