Digital Literacy Blog 6:The Development of Digital Literacy(ICT literacy)

Digital Literacy Blog 6:The Development of Digital Literacy(ICT literacy)

As this is my last blog in the subject of digital literacy, it might be good to talk about the development of digital literacy through the generations to have a better understanding of it. Since the late 1960s,ICT literacy has been identified as a need (Martin & Grudziecki, 2006). So what the stages or phase have digital literacy have go through from that time till now?

Moreover, I have found seven pillars to help student in higher education to improve their awareness of information literacy in the UK

The three phases:

The development of digital literacy has been through three phases, the mastery phase (skills),the application phase (usage) and the reflection phase (Martin, 2003).

1- The mastery phase(up to the mid-1980s):

The computer was considered as a powerful thing. The literacy on that time was to know the computer basics, how it works and how to program it. Also, to know some additional socially and economically factors that affect it.

2-The application phase(mid-1980s to late-1990s):

The computer in this phase was seen as a tool with a simple graphical user. Also, the computer has been applied to the education, work and home. The software literacy was the focus in this phase rather than knowing how the computer works and programming it in the previous phase.

3-The reflection phase(late-1990s on):

In this phase, there is a realisation of the need of evaluative , critical and reflective look on using the computers. The literacy in this level has evolved from specific skills to meta-skills. A new definition of ICT Literacy was needed. OECD-ILO PISA project has defined it as following:

“ICT literacy is the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society.

(van Joolingen, 2004)”

Seven Pillars for student in higher education:

There are seven pillars to help student in higher education to their awareness of information literacy in the UK:

“1-Recognising an information need.

2-Identifying what information will fulfil the need.

3-Constructing strategies for locating information.

4-Locating and accessing the information sought.

5-Comparing and evaluating information obtained from different sources.

6-Organising, applying and communicating information.

7-Synthesising and building upon the information.”

( Town, 2000: 17–18)

Reflection :

It is clear that how the three phase developed from a stage to another and getting more complex as it developed. Also, we can see a change in the needed skills in digital literacy from pure engineering and scientific skills to critical skills which I covered in a previous blog post( Now, being digitally literate does not mean you have to know how the computer works or how to program it, as long as the person know to use, critique, evaluate, communicate and so on. I wonder what is the future phase of digital development would be!

To reflect on the seven pillars, I really see it very useful not only for students in higher education but for everyone use want to be digitally literate.

General conclusion:

I hope that my blogs are useful to everyone or at least interesting!

As for all these blogs were my first experience of blogging, and as I really like this experience, I am planning to develop my skills on that. So please if anyone have any advice or recommendation that would be very help to me. You all are welcome to leave me a comment.

Thanks for reading my blogs


MartinA. (2003) “Towards e-literacy” in Martin & Rader, 2003: 3–23

Martin, A., & Grudziecki, J. (2006). DigEuLit: Concepts and Tools for Digital Literacy Development. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5(4), 1–19. doi:10.11120/ital.2006.05040249

TownS. (2000) “Wisdom or Welfare? The Seven Pillars Model” in Corrall & Hathaway, 2000: 11–21

Van JoolingenW. (2004) “The PISA framework for assessment of ICT literacy” Powerpoint presentation Online at:


4 thoughts on “Digital Literacy Blog 6:The Development of Digital Literacy(ICT literacy)

  1. Hi Hajar,

    Do you think the seven pillars you mention reflect the process you went through to design your OER?

    I was also wondering if you feel like you have developed your digital literacy skills through creating an OER?

    Jen x


  2. Thank you for your post, it is good summary for the digital literacy development. I am intrested in the seven pillars that could help students in higher education to their awareness of information literacy in the UK. In my opinion, teachers have a significant role in helping students to acquire sufficient skills to deal with the information. Do you agree?


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