Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Digital Literacy for the 21st Century

Digital Literacy for the 21st Century
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Author(s): Hiller A. Spires (North Carolina State University, USA), Casey Medlock Paul (North Carolina State University, USA)and Shea N. Kerkhoff (North Carolina State University, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 8
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch194


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Before the Internet was an integral part of life, Paul Gilster (1997) defined digital literacy as the “ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers” (p. 1). Thus, digital literacy involves any number of digital reading and writing techniques across multiple media forms. These media include words, texts, visual displays, motion graphics, audio, video, and multimodal forms. There are myriad cognitive processes at play, along a continuum from consumption to production when a reader is immersed with digital content as well as with print text. The purpose of this chapter is to (a) define digital literacy from multiple theoretical viewpoints, (b) illustrate how the definition continues to evolve in light of emerging technologies, and (c) discuss the cognitive, social, and affective dimensions of digital literacy as it is a key requirement in contemporary K-12 education.

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