What are Digital Literacies?

By Amanda Moody.

There is no doubt in my mind that digital literacy is plural.  It is expansive, it doesn’t have clearly defined edges, it is changeable, personal, collective, political.  It is online life activity.  As we explore digital tools and technologies, we develop digital literacies.  We create digital identities, we mindfully use digital tools for our own agendas, we engage with social networks, and when we feel truly connected, we are actors in participatory cultures.

What follows is my definition of digital literacies, grounded in relevant literature.  I have defined digital literacies via an infographic.  To create this infographic, I drew from many literacies: reading and taking notes on digital literacies via a Google doc, reorganizing my notes into categories, locating a website to create an infographic (Piktochart.com), selecting an infographic template that would suit my needs, finding appropriate photos and icons to represent each digital literacy, condensing my thoughts into easy to read bullet points, manipulating the icons, text boxes, colors, and fonts, creating a reference page, and figuring out how to display the infographic on a Google doc.  You will notice that I took screenshots of each section to be able to comment on it.  After reflecting on the literacies I used to create this infographic, it is evident that digital literacies were at work here.  

First, here is the title section. I tried to capture digital activities, solo and collaborative.


Moody - image 1
Next, I collapsed my digital literacies categories into four major topics to capture the user, use, and reasons for using digital tools: digital identity, tool use, social networking, and participation.  I believe that a decision to do anything involves identity-creation, which is why I included that.

Moody - image 2

The following three sections reflect my attempt to expand on the four digital literacies topics.  Here, I included specific competencies within digital literacies, and I provided examples in bullet points with citations.

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In the final section, I created a reference page.  It is not 100% APA 6.0 accurate because Piktochart would not allow me to italicize or indent.  Sometimes, digital tools cannot do everything.  I have to creatively work around imperfections to produce an acceptable version of what I want.  The beauty of using digital tools is that they are always being improved through user feedback.

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Speaking of feedback, this post allows me to share my work with you and await your feedback so I can improve it.  That is digital literacies in action!  


Amanda Moody is an adolescent ESL/ENL teacher and doctoral student in the Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research program at Fordham University Graduate School of Education.


Author: drkhturner

I am a teacher, a learner, and a writer. I am also the mother of twins. My Wordpress blogs allow my students and I to interact outside the walls of our classroom, and in some cases, Wordpress is our classroom space! My personal blog can be found at http://twinlifehavingitall.blogspot.com.

4 thoughts on “What are Digital Literacies?”

  1. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for leaving breadcrumbs of your process online. I’m working on my Doctoral executive position paper and will be able to follow some of your threads through the process.

    My focus is on 21st century literacies for instructors of hybrid/blended classes in higher education.

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