Ongoing

DETECT

Developing teachers’ critical digital literacies

Project summary

The Challenge

Digital technologies have created new opportunities and challenges for education – with questions raised in relation to educators’ digital literacies.

The Approach

The project will develop innovative training material aiming to enhance teachers’ critical digital literacies.

The Outcome

The project will deliver impact across theory, policy and practice including understanding critical digital literacies within the school context.

Lead researchers

Funded by

Project partners

The Challenge

Increased access to digital technologies and social media has created new opportunities as well as challenges for education – and raised questions in relation to educators’ digital literacies. Enhancing teachers’ critical disposition and critical digital literacies is significant. These competences are transferable across digital contexts and, therefore more relevant to the fast-paced realities of everyday digital practices.

This project aims to raise awareness among educators, and support them in developing critical literacies in relation to the use of digital technologies and social media.

This will involve reconceptualising the notion of digital literacies in order to look beyond functional ICT skills and e-safety. It will encompass instead, a richer set of critical digital literacies that are tailored specifically to educators’ personal and professional needs within a school context.

Developing critical literacies in relation to the use of digital technologies and social media
There is a pressing need to cultivate ‘a critical disposition in a context in which technical proficiency is prioritised’ (Pangrazio, 2016)

The Approach

The project will develop innovative training material aiming to enhance teachers’ critical digital literacies.

A ‘bottom-up’ approach has been adopted so that all tools are developed in collaboration with the participating schools. This approach will allow teachers to develop critical digital literacies, actively engaging them in the creation of the tools in order to act as ‘ambassadors’ of good practice at their school and more widely.

We will develop an up-to-date critical digital literacies framework that draws on a systematic literature review and empirical data collected from the four partner schools. This will facilitate the evaluation and further development of teachers’ critical digital literacies. We anticipate that the new framework will become a reference tool for the development and strategic planning of teachers’ digital competences at a national and EU level.

In close collaboration with partner schools we will also create a massive open online course (MOOC) and an online toolkit as Open Educational Resources.

These open resources will be used to raise awareness and enhance educators’ professional competences in order to integrate critical digital literacies into teaching. Additionally, the resources will help promote innovative pedagogies for teaching, learning and collaborating.

Teachers from the partner schools will have the opportunity to take part in learning, teaching and training activities; collaboratively designing and testing elements of the MOOC and the toolkit before these are finalised and more widely disseminated.

The Impact

We anticipate that this project will deliver impact across theory, policy and practice.  First, the findings and academic outputs will have a theoretical impact; developing new and innovative conceptualisations of critical digital literacies within the context of contemporary schools. The project will also highlight important policy and practice insights to address the development of teachers’ critical digital literacies.

Finally, we expected that the project will have a considerable impact on individual participants, on the participating organisations at institutional level as well as on other external 'adopters' of the MOOC and online toolkit. Especially in relation to developing a theoretical understanding of critical digital literacies as well as relevant digital competences.

Pangrazio, L. (2016) Reconceptualising critical digital literacy, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37:2, 163-174, DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2014.942836