Digital information literacy

The ability to access, interpret and create digital information has increased its level of importance in the continuum of literacy in recent years. The use of computers, the Internet and the World Wide Web has become integral to many forms of information access, communication, and knowledge generally. This change is having an impact on common understandings about information, communication and knowledge - causing many to ask fundamental questions like: what is reliable information? How do we communicate effectively? and how do we develop and maintain knowledge?

Digital e~cology by Paul Keller

Objectives edit


  • Understand how digital information is created, stored and transported; and how to establish Internet connectivity and a network.
  • Know how to use at least three search techniques to find digital information
  • Know how to use RSS to manage information flows


  • Be able to identify a range of digital formats and their uses
  • Be able to use machine translation, speech to text, and audio transcription services
  • Understand copyright as it is applied to digital works and believe in your self


  • Be able to use at least three different input and recording technologies
  • Be able to edit text, audio and images
  • Know at least three ways to publish your own digital information

Access edit

What is digital edit

What is digital information literacy? - It is the ability to identify, use, acknowledge, create and evaluate information sourced from an electronic device such as a computer or a cell phone.

Storage and transportation edit

Format edit

Interfaces edit

Some interfaces which are used for accessing digital information - databases, datasets, electronic libraries, Internet, other multimedia - problem-solving so users can navigate sources and understand their scope

Facilities edit

Portals (a website often within an intranet serving as a guide or point of entry to the World Wide Web and usually including a search engine or a collection of links to other sites arranged especially by topic). Search engines (computer programmes called 'spiders' search their database of previously indexed pages from the WWW for keywords you have specified. An example would be google. RSS feeds (If you have subscribed to a particular site by setting up an RSS feed, you will be sent notification of any new updates to that site. RSS Feeds let you know when there is new stuff to see at your favourite sites, blogs etc.) Subject Gateway ,Catalogue,Directory (a list of internet resources e.g. OMNI. A directory has been created by a human being and it lists websites by subject categories. The websites have all been evaluated previously and are deemed to be useful.),Internet tutorials (Tutorials available online about how to find information effectively),Internet detective.

Searching edit

search engines, subject directories, gateways etc.

  • Data sets e.g. Citation Index, databases, data centres

Interpret edit

Communications media edit

Discussion boards, email lists, IM channels, blog comments, video conferencing...

Create edit

Publishing edit

Formats edit

There are several different formats used for digital information - text, audio, video, images, blogs, wikis etc.

Copyright edit

Options for copyright - creative commons, JISC models, copyright licensing Ltd.

This module will need to be linked to search strategies, evaluating and ethics modules.

Software edit

Examples of software packages for enterprise resource planning systems, integrated library systems, course management systems, management information systems, blogs/cms, Wiki's and institutional repository's.

  • GNU Eprints for generating an "Open Access" (OA) "Institutional Repository" (IR)
  • Open ils - integrated library system, developed by the Georgia Public Library Service
  • eduCommons is an OpenCourseWare management system
  • WIKINDX - for academic writing
  • Mediawiki - Wiki software for educational projects
  • Wordpress - Blog, CMS for learners
  • Moodle - LMS
  • Google Classroom - Online LMS Platform
  • Dspace - digital repository system
  • Guten is a tool to browse, retrieve, read and manage electronic books published by Project Gutenberg.
  • Firefox web browser with extensions.

See Also edit

References edit

  • Blackall, L. & Hegarty, B. (2007). WikiEducator: Digital information literacy.
  • Blackall, L. (2005). Digital literacy: how it affects teaching practices and networked learning futures _ a proposal for action research. The Knowedge Tree, Edition 07.
  • Breaks, M. & MacLeod, R. (2001). Joining up the academic information landscape: the role of the RDN hubs within the Distributed National Electronic Resource.
  • 21st Century information fluency project
  Completion status: this resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help!