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The difference between Digital Learning and Digital Literacy
- a practical perspective

Posted by jturner56 on January 25, 2013

Digital Literacy paper

This paper explores the in-school implications of Digital Literacy. Starting with charting the historical journey around Gilster’s (1997) definition, it arrives at a current view of “an evolving agenda” (Shapiro 2009). Comparisons to a similar exploration of Digital Learning identifies differences that enable a Digital Literacy developmental context to be identified. This builds on previous Digital Learning contexts (Turner 2010) based on threshold concepts.

After looking at issues arising from  curriculum importance and cultural considerations, a practical framework for in-school teacher Digital Literacy development is proposed that includes exploration of general issues, skill development, digital literacy evaluations, evidence, and resolution of in-school issues.. Gillen and Barton’s (2010) T&LR framework is used to identify shortcomings for future work.

The intention of this paper is to help generate a useable approach to digital literacy for teachers and students. Development that is academically sound, practically worthwhile and of value to the learning community. It is a learning journey.

Gillen, J. & Barton, D. 2010. Digital Literacies. Research briefing for the TLRP-TEL (Teaching and Learning Research Programme – Technology Enhanced Learning. London: London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education.
Gilster, P. 1997 Digital Literacy. New York: Wiley
Shapiro, H. 2009. Supporting Digital Literacy: Public Policies and Stakeholder Initiatives. Final Report: Topic Report 4: Conclusions and recommendations based on reviews and findings. Danish Technological Institute. Available at: 22 September 2012
Turner, J. 2010. Threshold concepts and digital learning.  Available at

Feedback is welcomed, or if interested in publishing elsewhere please contact


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