Pre-Service Teachers' Digital Competencies to Support School Students' Digital Literacies

Pre-Service Teachers' Digital Competencies to Support School Students' Digital Literacies

Damian Maher (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1461-0.ch002

Abstract

The chapter has two main foci. The first focus is on the types of literacy practices needed by young people to work in a contemporary digital environment. Policies that impact on the development of digital literacy development are explored. The aspects underpinning digital literacy are examined and a sociocultural approach explained. Aspects of safety and ethics are focused on. The first half concludes by discussing digital games and ways these can be used to develop digital literacies in schools. The second focus is on the digital competencies that pre-service teachers can develop to support teaching of digital literacies. Different models for developing digital competencies are outlined. The aspect of critical understanding is then examined. This is followed by exploring digital story telling. Important considerations for developing digital competencies within and beyond university training are examined. The chapter then provides some suggestions for further research in this field.
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Digital Literacy In Schools

The definition as to what constitutes digital literacy is a contested area and there is no one set definition. The terms used to describe this concept has changed over time as authors and researchers have sought to understand the field. ‘Computer literacy’ was the term used during the 1980s with ‘information literacy’ gaining popularity in the early 1990s (Bawden, 2008). Early use of the term digital literacy was used throughout the 1990s by a number of authors, who used it to refer to the ability to read and comprehend information items in the hypertext or multimedia formats which were at that time becoming available (Bawden, 2001).

As defined by Gilster (1997), the term digital literacy refers to the ability to understand and to use information from a variety of digital sources and includes the ability to read, write and otherwise deal with information using technologies. A definition of what constitutes digital literacy also includes “knowing how to act safely and responsibly online” (Australian Government, cited in NSW Education Standards Authority, 2017, p. 7). Thus, digital literacy is about mastering ideas, not keystrokes where: “Not only must you acquire the skill of finding things, you must also acquire the ability to use these things in your life” (Glistner, pp. 1–2).

The concept of digital literacy is therefore multifaceted. Bawden (2001) set out skills and competencies under the umbrella term ‘digital literacies’ which includes:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Literacy: Refers to the skills and literacies needed for the average person to be able to learn and navigate in contemporary society.

Digital Competency: These refer to the technical skills as well as the pedagogical skills needed. by teachers to support teaching of digital literacy.

Serious Digital Games: Digital games that support educational outcomes.

Digital Story Telling: Story telling where the use of digital technologies are used to support the process.

STEM: This acronym covers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The subjects can be considered separately or collectively.

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