Session 244: Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum

Thursday 19th March 2015 - Hosted by Gail Abbitt

6660127471_81dc671a86_bFollowing our online poll, UKEdChat explored the issue of “Digital Literacy across the Curriculum”, exploring how teachers embed educational technologies through different subjects. The session was hosted by Gail Abbitt, and the six questions which were released during session are below:

  1. Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy are often used interchangeably. What do you think is the main difference between the two? (8.01 pm)
  2. What does digital literacy mean to you? (8.11 pm)
  3. Which are the most important digital literacy skills that we should be teaching our students? (8.21 pm)
  4. How is digital literacy dealt with in you school? Is it taught equally throughout the curriculum? (8.31 pm)
  5. Which successful strategies have you used to embed digital literacy into your teaching? (8.41)
  6. Do you include the parents/wider community ? What support do you provide them with for supporting their children with DL? (8.51 pm)


Most people felt that the distinction between Digital Citizenship and Literacy was that the former is about teaching our students how to act responsibly(ethically) online, while the later is providing them with the necessary skills to proficiently interact with digital technology. Skills such as the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively, research and assess information (critically),and being able to be active creators of content (not just consumers) were seen as the most valuable skills that needed to taught.

There was a general consensus that the skills needed to be embedded across the curriculum and that we, as educators, should be modeling what it is to be digital literate; we should “teach by example.” Unfortunately, it was acknowledged that students often receive these skills in an ad hoc manner. Some schools are delivering digital literacy as part of the PSHE and Citizenship programmes, whilst for others it offered as part of the library induction.

Often it is left up to a few teachers who have an interest in digital literacy to deliver these skills. It was felt that this is because teachers do not have the skills or confidence to deliver the content and it was felt that providing teachers with time and appropriate CPD to up-skill in this area was not seen as a priority. It was also acknowledged that there was a disparity between what was being taught in the Primary sector and Secondary.

Research has shown that digital literacy (and citizenship) is most effectively taught when students are receiving the message from a variety of different sources (Common Sense Media.) A number of schools are doing this in a variety of ways, such as having students learn through peers by introducing ‘digital leaders’ and ‘genius bars.’ Others were educating parents, providing sessions at parent’s evenings and making the most of a captive audience!

Tweet of the Week

James Gibbons @ThatEdTechGuy I’ve found many are skilled in using digital technologies, however they are not always judicious in their use. #UKEdChat

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About the Host:

I am a Technology Integration Specialist working at St Julian’s School in Portugal. Presently, completing an MA in Education and Technology at UCL. Google Certified Educator and Trainer. I am a strong believer in the need for effective CPD that instills the same pedagogically sound methods (self-directed, personalised, ongoing…) that is used for students. Twitter: @gailabbitt G+: Blog:

Image Source: Brad Flickinger via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)



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