Reflection on the 1st topic: Online Participation & Digital Literacy

It was almost 10 years ago when I first came up with the division of ‘ digital natives & digital immigrants‘ during my master’s degree. I should admit that I was quite impressed by reading the articles on the topic at that time and even attempted to find some explanations for the younger generation’s ability to adopt and adapt the technology (e.g., my nephew, who has turned 5 now and he is quite capable of using mobile phone and tablet). I now realize that I identified myself as a digital immigrant who had her first computer and internet connection at home when she was around 18.

I also see now that I put a barrier between myself and my students when I was actively started to teach my own classes 3 years ago (refer to digital divide, Aydin, 2021) . I can honestly say that it was the biggest mistake of my teaching career to assume my students would successfully navigate themselves in finding the online sources that the university had an access to. However, as some time passed, I realized that having and actively using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts would not do anything with accessing an online journal of the library’s online catalogue. Next semester, I gave up on this idea and tried to explain what I already had on the topic.

Listening to David White’s seminar and watching his YouTube videos on his ‘residents & visitors‘ framework helped me situate myself in a digital world. It was also a kind of relief because digital literacy is not something fixed and age-related, but rather developmental as it was brought up during the David’s seminar by one of the #ONL211 attendees. The development can also be observed between ‘personal & institutional’ quadrants as my Facebook account for instance moved from personal dimension to more institutional dimension.

The first scenario of #ONL211 also helped a lot reflect on myself. The scenario is quite true for almost every participant of #ONL. For the first week, I volunteered to be one of team leaders of the topic, but I have to admit I was a bit passive to be a team leader as I was still trying to understand the procedures of #ONL such as FISH model. However, my team members were very supportive as we did a great job together at the end of our journey together. After the readings and synchronous seminar of David, we decided to focus on different elements of ‘digital literacy’ depicted in one of the suggested readings. We narrowed down our focus to three elements of digital literacy such as ICT literacy, information literacy and learning skills. I particularly focused on ICT literacy and tried to relate its place to developing digital literacy.

My search on the web ended up with finding and reading a few sources. For example, the article of Pérez-Escoda, García-Ruiz, & Aguaded (2019) summarizes dimensions of digital literacy based on five models of development. Based on these models, it is quite clear that ICT literacy is the basic level of developing digital literacy as it has been mentioned in another resource:

“Digital competence is grounded on basic skills in ICT, i.e. the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet” (Ilomäki, Kantosalo, & Lakkala, 2011).

All these ideas then has made me wonder whether it is possible to access ICT literacy. I have found DIGCOMP framework which is a framework for developing and understanding digital competence in Europe. It also distinguishes 6 levels of digital competence. The web page of the framework offers different self-assessment tests for teachers who work in 4 different levels such as primary or secondary education, adult education or provide continuous professional development, higher or further education and early childhood education and care (ECEC). It is possible to take the tests in different languages except for the last one.

During our discussions, we frequently referred to this sentence: “You learn to swim once you are in the water“. I also believe that we are on the same ship and we will not let it sink. Even the baby steps that we take today will lead to taking bigger steps in another day.

If you have survived until reading here, you might consider going over some sources that have been cited in the text or as a further reading.

Happy readings 🙂

References and further readings

Aesaert, K., van Braak, J. (2014). Exploring factors related to primary school pupils’ ICT self-efficacy:
A multilevel approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 327–341. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.10.006

Aydin, M. (2021). Does the digital divide matter? Factors and conditions that promote ICT literacy. Telematics and Informatics, 58, 101536. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2020.101536

Ilomäki, L., Kantosalo, A., & Lakkala, M. (2011). What is digital competence? In Linked portal. Brussels: European Schoolnet.

Pérez-Escoda, A., García-Ruiz, R., & Aguaded, I. (2019) Dimensions of digital literacy based on five models of development / Dimensiones de la alfabetización digital a partir de cinco modelos de desarrollo. Cultura y Educación, 31(2), 232-266, DOI:10.1080/11356405.2019.1603274

Siddiq, F., Hatlevik, O. E., Olsen, R. V., Throndsen, I., & Scherer, R. (2016). Taking a future perspective by learning from the past: A systematic review of assessment instruments that aim to measure primary and secondary school students’ ICT literacy. Educational Research Review, 58-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2016.05.002

Taking baby steps or big steps?