Thematic Working Group Digital Literacy

Thematic Working Group Digital Literacy

Chairs Jeroen Clemens (Email, Expert Page), Colin Harrison (Email, Expert Page)


Based on the body of research that has emerged in recent years around Digital Literacy, which encompasses concepts such as Information Literacies, 21st Century Literacy, Multimodal Literacies, Multiliteracies and New Media Literacy ELINET proposes the following definition of Digital Literacy: Digital Literacy is a broad term used to describe three interrelated dimensions of literate practice in the
contemporary age:

  1. the operational dimension includes the skills and competences that enable individuals to read and
write in diverse digital media (including making meaning with and from diverse modes such as spoken
and written language, static and moving images, sounds, screen design etc.);
  2. the cultural dimension refers to developing a repertoire of digital literacy practices in specific social
and cultural contexts (such as constructing and/or maintaining effective social, educational and/or
professional relationships online);
  3. the critical dimension recognises that meaning-making resources are selective and operate as a means
of social control (e.g. knowing what Facebook is up to when it reminds you that your profile is not
complete). Becoming critically literate with digital media therefore includes not simply participating
competently in digital literacy practices but also developing the ability to transform them actively and
This definition of the dynamic processes involved in developing digital literacy is enriched by the following
  • Digital Literacy is transversal to many different activities: it is about making confident, critical and
creative use of diverse digital devices to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure,
inclusion and/or participation in society
  • Digital Literacy is part of everyday literacy: that is to say, it can be viewed as both similar to and
different from traditional literacy. To read and write digitally, students and teachers must learn to create
and interpret texts in diverse modes (such as static and moving images and icons, spoken and written
language, screen layout etc.), and to navigate texts across diverse digital platforms which offer a variety
of learning opportunities, formats for creation, and spaces for expression that were not previously
  • Digital Literacy is a complex and socio-culturally sensitive issue: it is much more than the capacity to
use ICT tools, but should be regarded as a set of social and sense-making competences associated with
interacting with a range of digital devices, where the central issue is about the diverse literacies needed
to communicate and collaborate with others and to find and make sense of the available information



Annual Cross-Cutting Topic 2020 / 2021

TWG Digital Literacy is responsible for the current research project Annual Cross-Cutting Topic 2020 / 2021 Enhancing Digital Literacy Skills: Good Practices for Early and Primary Years Education.  For more details see here. In the absence of a commonly agreed competence framework of digital literacy for children, we adopt a “working definition” which will be refined later: The ultimate goal of digital literacy is for children to locate, comprehend, integrate, create and use information from multiple sources (online texts, videos, audio, images, interactive graphics,…) as well as to communicate and express effectively in various modalities at home and at school (oral, paper, visual, digital). For this project, aimed at children, we have formulated a more detailed working definition. You can read it here. We are working on two main outcomes:
  1. a “European Framework of good practice in enhancing digital literacy skills in early and primary years’ education” and a European policy paper as a short summary of the Framework (similar to ELINET’s European Literacy Declaration), both addressing policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders in this field. Both papers shall contain research-based recommendations for educating pre-school and primary school children to become digitally literate citizens.
  2. Parallel to this conceptual work we are working on a database of  good practice examples (the call is still open), which we will review and analyse and in case of approval publish on our website. Furthermore, we will integrate the main findings of this practice research in our framework according to ELINET’s top-down and bottom-up approach of exchanging research and practice. 

Presentations Elinet

Elinet gets invited and participates in conferences of other networks. We will give you information access to these activities/ presentations. There is an overlap with all activities of ELINET. See overall informations on participation in other conferences here
Dates Place Activity Representer(s) ELINET More info
September 8, 2021 Zagreb, Croatia & Online Conference Digital literacy and strategies for digital inclusion Jeroen Clemens here
May 12 and 13 2021 Cyprus & Online 4th International Conference ‘Literacy and Contemporary Society. Transitions in Digital Learning’ Fabio Nascimbeni, Jeroen Clemens info here.
November 19, 2020 Moscow & Online The Reading Association of Russia. The 6th International Conference Reading and Literacy in Education and Culture: Letters in Digits Colin Harrison, Bill Brozo, Jeroen Clemens here
June 1−3, 2020 Jyväskylä, Finland. Conference Language Education for Social Justice ELINET organizes a colloquium in which we will introduce a framework digital literacy means for children ages 0-10 Executive Commitee Elinet more info here.
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