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Digital Literacies: A Guide to Higher Education Applications: PROMOTING DIGITAL LITERACIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION


Beetham, H. (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

The internet allows institutions to communicate globally and learning theory tells us this is important, but it does not say clearly how to exploit it within the educational infrastructure.  The theory and practice must be aligned in order to create a coherent and workable model of education concerning digital literacy.  In order to incorporate technology successfully into a classroom, the purpose of the course needs to be negotiated and explicit in its goals, curriculum, etc.  


Allen, B., Caple, H., Coleman, K., & Nguyen, T. (2012). Creativity in practice: Social media in higher education. In M. Brown, M. Hartnett & T. Stewart (Eds.), Future challenges, sustainable futures. In Proceedings ascilite Wellington 2012. (pp. 15-20).

Creativity requires a tendency to take risks, and a preparedness to fail, but this is not generally supported in the current university environment. Institutions need to support this kind of experimental practice in order to achieve a higher learning potential for students and teachers.  


Schmidt, H. C. (2013). Addressing media literacy within higher education: A comparison of faculty and student perceptions. Northwest Journal of Communication, 41(1), 133-159.

Increasing the availability of media-related training is necessary even though having technically proficient faculty members is not a solution in itself. It will also be necessary to find a home for media literacy course work within university-level curricula. The key is to develop a clear plan and establish guidelines and standards for both teaching and evaluation


Jeffrey, L., Hegarty, B., Kelly, O., Penman, M., Coburn, D., & McDonald, J. (2011). Developing digital information literacy in higher education: Obstacles and supports. Journal of Information Technology Education, 10, 383-413.

Case study was done to identify and support the factors that influence development of digital literacy skills through education in the classroom.  Students identified that working with these digital tools directly was much more helpful than normal classroom learning. 


Goodfellow, R. (2011). Literacy, literacies and the digital in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), 131-144. 

The meaning of the conjoined terms “digital” and “literacy” are discussed while focusing on the teaching/learning aspect in higher education.  Argues for ‘academic’ critical literacy as a core component of the digital literacy practices in colleges and universities.


Nelson, K., Courier, M., & Joseph, G. W. (2011). An investigation of digital literacy needs of students. Journal of Information Systems Education, 22(2), 95-109.

A digital literacy tasks force was formed and developed 20 Digital Literacy aspects in order to gain a better understanding of what digital literacy aspect students need to know most. Top ranked were, Networking Technology, Systems Analysis, Applications Development, Systems Design, and Database Administration. The results of the study indicated that digital literacy education needs to occur across the curriculum and must be broader than just having all students take a mandatory computer class in college.


Schmidt, H. C. (2012). Essential but problematic: Faculty perceptions of media literacy education at the university level. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 13(1), 10-20. doi:10.1080/17459435.2012.719204

This article addresses Faculty perceptions of Media Literacy Education at the University Level; specifically the misperception of the “Net Generation”.  Students of the “Net Generation” are assumed to be quite digitally literate, however they are less comfortable with broader technological media and digital applications.  Institutions should focus on continued professional development of their faculty and make sure they are up to date with relevant digital Medias.   


Schmidt, H. C. (2013). Media literacy education from kindergarten to college: A comparison of how media literacy is addressed across the educational system. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 5(1), 295-309. 

This article looks at how digital literacy is address across the educational system, from K-12 as well as higher education. The results of this study indicated that students possess general media literacy competencies.  Students are most competent regarding media access, less competent regarding mediated message communication, and least competent regarding media analysis.  


Allan Martin and Jan Grudziecki: (2006) DigEuLit: Concepts and tools for digital literacy development. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences 5(4), 249-267. DOI: 10.11120/ital.2006.05040249 

Digital literacy skills are necessary to function daily and a key factor in education, employment, and other aspects of social life.  The authors of this article developed a framework for digital literacy by addressing how it can be mapped into a curriculum.  They developed 3 levels of digital Literacy including Digital Competence, Digital Usage, and Digital Transformation.