1. Digital literacy and identity


In this topic we will explore together important literacies and capabilities to survive and thrive in the digital age as learners and educators. Accessing, filtering, critically evaluating information in vast networks, repositories and digital libraries as well as connecting with individuals and groups via social networks and make use for learning and teaching is a complex process and requires specific skills, attitudes and behaviours which become increasingly more important for individuals and society. How can we navigate through this jungle, learn and develop and feel well at the same time? We will also investigate the transition from digital consumer of information to producer and co-creator and contributor of new information, knowledge co-construction in the digital world and reflect on our digital presence and identity, experiences through consumption, communication, collaboration and creation, as learners and educators.

Scenario (as an animation, text and audio)

“I have been asked to create a digital portfolio on the web for the course I am doing. Not sure I want to do this. Why would I want to share things about the course with the whole world? Who would want to read it anyway? Don’t get it really. Then they talked about creating a profile on LinkedIn, something like an open CV? I have my CV on a hard drive and when I need to I send it to people. Not sure I understand that we need to have everything online these days. I don’t really want people I don’t know look me up… Ok, I am on Facebook but that is it. I don’t accept invitations by people I don’t know or don’t like. I have seen some people have hundreds of friends there… Mmm, are these real friends? I am very sceptic about all this and sharing everything with everybody. I keep my private life separate from my professional life. People don’t need to see my holiday pictures or what I had for breakfast.”

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this topic you will have had the opportunity to

  1. discuss the importance of digital literacies for learning and teaching
  2. reflect on digital literacies in your own practice and this of others
  3. describe your digital identity and what this means to you

Pick ‘n’ mix activities

Definitely do one of the following activities! If you are learning within a group consider carrying out one of the below as a collaborative task. Remember to share on Twitter and in the other community spaces.

1. Responding: Create a response to the scenario on your own or with others based on the discoveries you made through investigating this.Remember, you could use the FISh model. (ilo-1)

2. Reflecting: Think about digital literacies and reflect on your current practice. Where are the challenges and opportunities? What could you do to help your students? Connect with colleagues and/or related research to develop your understanding further. (ilo-2)

3. Making: Which places do you visit regularly when online? Where do you stay a bit longer and why? Create a map of your digital me. (ilo-3)

Suggested readings

1. Wakefulness and digitally engaged publics by Ian O’Byrne available here.
2. Revisiting digital capabilities by Helen Beetham here and the podcast is available here.
3. The 5 Resources Model of Critical Digital Literacy by Juliet Hinrichsen and Antony Coombs at the University of Greenwich, available here



  1. The first Bonus FOS point activity is here!

    Who are You?
    Please create a short video explaining how you have created you digital identity; you will need to carry out this task with the inclusion of words and phrases from a language and culture that you feel connected to.
    Please add to your portfolio and include the link to this. This can lead to a Bonus FOS point 🙂

    activity contributed by Neil Withnell

    Liked by 1 person

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