The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. Commissioned by Adobe, the special report explores the advancement of digital literacy, which is sparking new thinking in higher education about how to best prepare students for the demands of the global technological economy
This project was launched because there is a lack of consensus across the field about how to define digital literacy and implement effective programs. A survey was disseminated throughout the NMC community of higher education leaders and practitioners to understand how digital literacy initiatives are impacting their campuses. The NMC’s research examines the current landscape to illuminate multiple models of digital literacy — universal literacy, creative literacy, and literacy across disciplines — around which dedicated programs can proliferate a spectrum of skills and competencies. These initiatives have the potential to generate more excitement around learning for students, especially as their growing fluency enables deeper connections with others and equips them with a new lens to critically evaluate the world around them.
In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools. All four recommendations are summarized below.
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