There is danger in the modification of “literacy” with the descriptors “digital” or “technological”. The danger is that these modifiers imply sophistication or fluency, and this is not the intended meaning of “digital literacy”. “Literacy” is a necessary condition of “fluency” but it is not a sufficient condition (Brennan). Simply because our students are early adopters of technological advances does not mean that they are fluent in those technologies.
Critical thinking skills fall under the purview of teachers in all content areas and it is precisely these skills that are required to help students achieve digital literacy. Teachers need not be fluent in the technology, but they must be fluent in their content area to bridge the gap between the students’ nascent literacy and the plethora of media available to them. Irrespective of the medium, critical thinking must always be brought to bear on the message the media carries.
Brennan, Andrew, “Necessary and Sufficient Conditions”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Web. 16 Jan. 2013. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/necessary-sufficient/
© K.C. Hoffman and learnersinadangeroustime.wordpress.com, 2013.