Digital literacy of students is seen as an important topic in higher education, and employability, although important, isn’t the only driver for increasing students’ skills in this area. Another important driver is developing the potential for students to live, learn, work and thrive in a digital society.
JISC, the Joint Information Systems Committee, define digital literacy as simply “the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society” and emphasise digital literacy is a developmental process, similar to learning a language: “we acquire language and become increasingly proficient over time and eventually reach a level of fluency.”
They go on to say that as the curriculum is the main focus of students’ attention, this is logically the best place within which to showcase and develop digital literacy. Also emphasised is the need for staff to be engaged with digital literacies, and for this they too may need continued support and development.
JISC have produced a quick guide that outlines the key considerations for developing students’ digital literacy, along with further in depth guidance available through a number of links on the page.
JISC have also made available a digital literacy development infoKit, which is aimed at those looking to place increased focus on digital literacy in their curriculum. The infoKit covers a range of strategic perspectives on digital literacy and offers guidance and case studies for development of digital literacy in practice.