Review of the Essential Elements of Digital Literacy

I am not a fan of Doug Belshaw’s book The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

The book is failing to deliver a deeper understanding of the elements of digital literacy. The basic statement from the author is along the line of define digital literacy how you need to based on the situation you are in. This type of approach leads to more ambiguity in the area of educators relating to digital literacy.  I asked 7 educators to define digital literacy and the results were all over the board. From knowing how to turn on the computer and use a mouse, to understanding functions such as drag and drop , to knowing how to use digital tools to expand ability. How can we discuss the need for digital literacy in schools if we do not have a preset rule of what it is actually  addressing.  I hope the remaining chapters have more details and go deeper into the problem.



Essential Elements of Digital Literacy

2 thoughts on “Review of the Essential Elements of Digital Literacy”

  1. Hey,

    Philip here,

    I think you may have misinterpreted the purpose of this book. Doug mentions very early on in his book that “this isn’t a handbook. There’s nothing resembling an off-the-shelf solution here” (Belshaw).

    While I agree with your assertion that this book does not help educators define Digital Literacy in the context of teaching students, I don’t think it ever set out to either.

    What I got out of Doug’s book was a great introductory overview of what digital literacy could be, and not necessarily what it specifically is. I have many students who detest ambiguity and who would become quite lost if I introduced them to the topics discussed in this book, but I do believe that there are elements of Digital Literacy that my students would grasp and do well with.

    Anyways, I think you have a valid point. I don’t know how this will fit in to my classroom, but I have hope that it someday could.

    1. I found the text frustrating on many levels. I did understand the text to be a general discussion but I did not agree with several of his points. I am very happy to hear it resonated with you and will be something you can use for your classroom. It is always fascinating to compare understandings and what resonates with one and not another. I do seem to be the only one in the course not enthralled with the text.

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