Digital literacies 101

As an art historian we often talk about visual literacies or the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, this builds upon the typical meaning of literacy which typically refers to written or printed text.

I think in many ways there are parallels between visual literacy and digital literacy, especially when it comes to critical thinking. The metaphor I have been thinking about is that a visual skill would be to be able to draw what you see, but a visual literacy would be to understand the history of drawing, compare it to other drawings, and think critically about what it could mean or signify.

According to one of my favorite scholars, Maha Bali, “Digital skills would focus on which tool to use (e.g. Twitter) and how to use it (e.g. how to tweet, retweet, use TweetDeck), while digital literacy would include in-depth questions: When would you use Twitter instead of a more private forum? Why would you use it for advocacy? Who puts themselves at risk who they do so?” (Bali, 2016, p. 2).

For me digital literacies are the ability to interpret, negotiate, make meaning from, and think critically about information presented digitally and our relationship to it.

Part of analyzing my own digital literacy was to create a map of my personal learning network (PLN):

Ironically part of my plan for improving my digital literacy is to cut back on my screen time. I would like to be more intentional about the types of apps and social media I consume. Being more strategic in how and when I use digital tools and thinking critically about why I use them, and when they will help me connect with people versus disassociate, will ultimately improve my digital literacies.

#LiDA101 #personallearningnetworks #personallearningenvironments #pln #ple #lida101blog #lida101challenge

Bali, Maha. 2016, Feb. “Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies, and Teaching Both.” Retrieved from 2016/02/03/knowing-the-difference-between-digital-skills-and-digital-literacies-and- teaching-both

One thought on “Digital literacies 101

  1. Hi Alena

    I enjoyed reading your blog post – a solid reflection. I particularly like your plan to become more intentional with choice of digital tools and look forward to learning more about the “filters” or criteria you choose for selecting appropriate tools.

    A quick tip – I believe your blog URL is already registered on the course site. To harvest a link from your blog to the course feed – you need to physically apply the course code “lida101” via the WordPress tag feature. For more information on how to add a tag in WordPress see:

    Thanks for sharing!

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