Digital literacy is defined as “those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society: for example, the skills to use digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; as part of personal development planning; and as a way of showcasing achievements” (JISC, 2011).
The Welsh Government’s framework document for Delivering a Digital Wales (Mar 2011) states that the “Widespread Digital Literacy and the development of a workforce which can offer a broad range of high quality “e-skills” is critical to the success of Digital Wales.” There is a clear message that Digital Literacy is recognised as being essential for future employability. “90% of new jobs will require excellent digital skills, improving digital literacy is an essential component of developing employable graduates.” (JISC,2011)
Cardiff University recognises Digital Literacy as being of fundamental importance to developing the future capability of its work force and graduates and as stated in the Employability and Enterprise Skills Strategy “we are committed to enhancing the employability of all students so that they are able to contribute positively in a work situation.” (Cardiff University, 2010). This is reinforced by the directive in HEFCW’s Learning and Teaching Strategy Guidance documentation instructing institutions to address Digital Literacy through the employability skills agenda. This is mapped to Cardiff University Education Strategy which states that “Our graduates must meet the needs of knowledge-based, global, entrepreneurial and innovation-driven economies and be equipped with the skills and confidence to lead. (Cardiff University, 2011)
Cardiff University has a global reputation in the field of information literacy and hosted the Welsh Information Literacy Project for first two phases. Cardiff University is therefore committed to and uniquely positioned to create an exemplar model of Digital Literacy provision.
Digital Literacy is closely linked with a range of wider learning literacies.
Information Literacy in particular, has a complimentary relationship with digital literacy and both are vital in order to develop the skills and attributes needed to engage with the digital information age.
Cardiff University has long been committed to the development of information literacy and the Digidol project will build upon this foundation.
More information about information literacy can be found at the following locations.
- The Welsh Information Literacy Project (Including the Framework for Wales)
- SCONUL Seven Pillars Model
- Arcadia project, University of Cambridge
- HILT handbook
Digital Literacy is also closely associated with Media Literacy and a wide range of research is published by Ofcom in this field.