Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is an important skill to have in today's technology based world. 

The Ministry of Education defines digital literacy as “the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, create and communicate with others”.

Digital Literacy Framework

The Digital Literacy Framework (PDF) elaborates on six characteristics identified by B.C. educational leaders. These characteristics are based on the National Educations Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) standards developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and encompass the types of knowledge and skills learners need to be successful in the 21st century. 

The characteristics are:

  1. Research and Information Literacy: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information
  2. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources
  3. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology
  4. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior
  5. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. 

The Framework provides a clearer, more detailed sense of what digitally literate students should understand and be able to do at various levels of their development. The intent is to help educators integrate technology and digital literacy-related activities into their classroom practice and to provide some basis for the development of assessment tools for the digital literacy competencies. 

To support the Framework there is a set of profiles that provide examples of activities that digitally literate students should be able to do at key developmental points in their K-12 education. The profiles are based on International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) NETS•S standards and a belief that all students must have regular opportunities to use technology to develop skills that encourage personal productivity, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration in the classroom and in daily life. The examples are intended to bring the Framework to life and demonstrate the variety of activities possible. Students and teachers should not feel constrained by these examples as they are just a representative sample of possibilities for digital literacy. 

The profiles are divided into the following four grade ranges. Because grade-level designations vary for individuals, age ranges are also provided.

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The following experiences with technology and digital resources are examples of learning activities in which students might engage during K–Grade 2 (ages 5–8):

  1. Illustrate and communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools and media-rich resources. (C, T, CC, CI)
  2. Identify, research, and collect data on an environmental issue using digital resources and propose a developmentally appropriate solution. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  3. Engage in learning activities with learners from multiple cultures through e-mail and other electronic means. (C, CC, TOC)
  4. In a collaborative work group, use a variety of technologies to produce a digital presentation or product in a curriculum area. (C, T, CC, RI, CI,TOC)
  5. Find and evaluate information related to a current or historical person or event using digital resources. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  6. Use simulations and graphical organizers to explore and depict patterns of growth such as the life cycles of plants and animals. (C, T, RI, CI)
  7. Demonstrate the safe and cooperative use of technology. (PS, DC)
  8. Independently apply digital tools and resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.  (T, CPD, TOC)
  9. Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology. (C, CC, TOC)
  10. Demonstrate the ability to navigate in virtual environments such as electronic books, simulation software, and Web sites. (TOC)

The letters in parentheses after each item identify the cross-curricular characteristics (C, T, PS) and the digital literacy characteristics (CC, RI, CPD, CI, DC, TOC) most closely linked to the activity described. Each activity may relate to one competency or to multiple characteristics.

B.C.’s 3 Cross-Curricular Competencies Matching Digital Literacy Characteristics
Communication (C) Communication and Collaboration (CC)
Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Thinking (T) Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making  (CPD)
Creativity and Innovation (CI)
Personal and Social (PS) Digital Citizenship (DC)
  Technology Operations and Concepts (TOC)

The following experiences with technology and digital resources are examples of learning activities in which students might engage during Grades 3–5 (ages 8–11):

  1. Produce a media-rich digital story about a significant local event based on first-person interviews. (C, T, RI, CI)
  2. Use digital-imaging technology to modify or create works of art for use in a digital presentation. (C, T, CC, CI, TOC)
  3. Recognize bias in digital resources while researching an environmental issue with guidance from the teacher. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  4. Select and apply digital tools to collect, organize, and analyze data to evaluate theories or test hypotheses. (T, RI, CPD, TOC)
  5. Identify and investigate a global issue and generate possible solutions using digital tools and resources. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  6. Conduct science experiments using digital instruments and measurement devices. (T, CPD, TOC)
  7. Conceptualize, guide, and manage individual or group learning projects using digital planning tools with teacher support. (T, CPD, TOC)
  8. Practice injury prevention by applying a variety of ergonomic strategies when using technology. (PS, DC, TOC)
  9. Debate the effect of existing and emerging technologies on individuals, society, and the global community. (T, PS, RI, CPD, DC, TOC)
  10. Apply previous knowledge of digital technology operations to analyze and solve current hardware and software problems. (T, CPD, TOC)

The letters in parentheses after each item identify the cross-curricular characteristics (C, T, PS) and the digital literacy characteristics (CC, RI, CPD, CI, DC, TOC) most closely linked to the activity described. Each activity may relate to one competency or to multiple characteristics.

B.C.’s 3 Cross-Curricular Competencies Matching Digital Literacy Characteristics
Communication (C) Communication and Collaboration (CC)
Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Thinking (T) Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making  (CPD)
Creativity and Innovation (CI)
Personal and Social (PS) Digital Citizenship (DC)
  Technology Operations and Concepts (TOC)

The following experiences with technology and digital resources are examples of learning activities in which students might engage during Grades 6–9 (ages 11–15):

  1. Describe and illustrate a content-related concept or process using a model, simulation, or concept-mapping software. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  2. Create original animations or videos documenting school, community, or local events. (C, T,RI, CPD, TOC)
  3. Gather data, examine patterns, and apply information for decision making using digital tools and resources. (T, RI, CPD)
  4. Participate in a cooperative learning project in an online learning community. (C, CC)
  5. Evaluate digital resources to determine the credibility of the author and publisher and the timeliness and accuracy of the content. (C, T, RI, CPD)
  6. Employ data-collection technology such as probes, handheld devices, and geographic mapping systems to gather, view, analyze, and report results for content-related problems. (C, T, RI, CPD, TOC)
  7. Select and use the appropriate tools and digital resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and to solve problems. (C, T, RI, TOC)
  8. Use collaborative electronic authoring tools to explore common curriculum content from multicultural perspectives with other learners. (C, T, PS, CC, DC)
  9. Integrate a variety of file types to create and illustrate a document or presentation. (T, CPD, CI, TOC)
  10. Independently develop and apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems. (T, CPD, TOC)

The letters in parentheses after each item identify the cross-curricular characteristics (C, T, PS) and the digital literacy standards (CC, RI, CPD, CI, DC, TOC) most closely linked to the activity described. Each activity may relate to one competency/standard or to multiple characteristics/standards.

BC’s 3 Cross-Curricular Competencies Matching Digital Literacy Characteristics
Communication (C) Communication and Collaboration (CC)
Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Thinking (T) Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making  (CPD)
Creativity and Innovation (CI)
Personal and Social (PS) Digital Citizenship (DC)
  Technology Operations and Concepts (TOC)

The following experiences with technology and digital resources are examples of learning activities in which students might engage during Grades 10–12 (ages 15–18):

  1. Design, develop, and test a digital learning game to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to curriculum content. (T, RI, CPD, CI)
  2. Create and publish an online art gallery with examples and commentary that demonstrate an understanding of different historical periods, cultures, and countries. (C, T, CC, RI, CPD, CI)
  3. Select digital tools or resources to use for a real-world task and justify the selection based on their efficiency and effectiveness. (C, T, RI, CPD, TOC)
  4. Employ curriculum-specific simulations to practice critical-thinking processes. (T, CPD)
  5. Identify a complex global issue; develop a systematic plan of investigation, and present innovative sustainable solutions. (C, T, CC, RI, CPD)
  6. Analyze the capabilities and limitations of current and emerging technology resources and assess their potential to address personal, social, lifelong learning, and career needs. (T, PS, RI, CPD, DC, TOC)
  7. Design a Web site that meets accessibility requirements. (T, PS, RI, CPD, CI, DC)
  8. Model legal and ethical behaviours when using information and technology by properly selecting, acquiring, and citing resources. (C, T, PS, RI, CPD, DC)
  9. Create media-rich presentations for other students on the appropriate and ethical use of digital tools and resources. (T, PS, CC, RI, CPD, CI, DC)
  10. Configure and troubleshoot hardware, software, and network systems to optimize their use for learning and productivity. (T, CPD, TOC)

The letters in parentheses after each item identify the cross-curricular characteristics (C, T, PS) and the digital literacy characteristics (CC, RI, CPD, CI, DC, TOC) most closely linked to the activity described. Each activity may relate to one competency or to multiple characteristics.

B.C.’s 3 Cross-Curricular Competencies Matching Digital Literacy Characteristics
Communication (C) Communication and Collaboration (CC)
Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Thinking (T) Research and Information Fluency (RI)
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making  (CPD)
Creativity and Innovation (CI)
Personal and Social (PS) Digital Citizenship (DC)
  Technology Operations and Concepts (TOC)