Open Thinkering


The 8 C’s of digital literacy

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Image by jared @ Flickr

Poets talk of a ‘muses’ and people talk of inspiration ‘just coming’ to them. Me, I’m a believer that connections come when you completely immerse yourself in something. About an hour ago I had a breakthrough with my thesis, the tentative title of which is What does it mean to be ‘digitally literate’? A Pragmatic investigation.

I’ve been looking for a way to organize the multitude of definitions of ‘digital literacy’ that there are – almost as many as there are writers on the subject! Then, as I was looking for categories, I noticed that almost every category I used began with ‘C’! I quickly wrote down eight and tweeted it out:

My original tweet

Josie Fraser, herself quite the expert on digital literacy, responded that I really needed a ‘critical’ element in there:

Josie - helpful tweet

She had a very good point and I noticed that the similarity between the things I wanted to put in the ‘cultural’ and ‘community’ sections I’d demarcated. Hence, I changed it round to come up with this, the 8 C’s of digital literacy. Each of the following I believe to be an element with which any definition of the concept must deal:

  • Cultural
  • Communication
  • Cognitive
  • Citizenship
  • Constructive
  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Critical

I haven’t numbered them as they’re in no particular order. I will, no doubt, be thinking and reflecting more on the subject. I just wanted to get this post out before anyone else tried to claim this as their own! 😉

A reminder that you can view my thesis as I write it, if you wish. 😀

6 thoughts on “The 8 C’s of digital literacy

  1. I am very impressed that you are sharing your thesis, and enjoyed flicking through it this morning. I like your 8Cs but mischievously want to think of an element that doesn’t begin with C. For example, confidence may be seen as an affective element but what about empathy?

    1. or compassion – it starts with a C! LOL
      Compassion (Cm) would include empathy of others. Compassion for others and of course global issues reflected through media and technology etc.

      1. Thanks! These C’s weren’t random, they came from a meta-analysis of the research literature as part of my thesis 😉

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