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  • Writer's pictureNoni Harrison

Digital Fluency and Transliteracy

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

  1. How do you see yourself developing the knowledge and skills to address current and future information literacy and digital fluency needs?

  2. What is the relevance and purpose of transliteracy in this overall discussion of digital citizenship and 21st Century teaching and learning?

I think the answer to the second question is relatively straight forward – students use a range of digital tools in their daily lives to explore, connect, and create, so it is fitting that our digital citizenship practices and 21st century teaching and learning experiences mirror this. However, while students may use a variety of tools in their everyday lives to create their own digital artefacts, Valenza (2010) highlights that they are not necessarily transliterate. Meaning, they may be able to use the tools but may not have the dispositions needed to exploit each tool and effectively create, organise, share and communicate for a particular purpose (Wheeler & Gerver, 2015). This use of transliteracy in schools explicitly connects to and activates the third space, which enhances the authenticity and meaningfulness of tasks.

In terms of information literacy and digital fluency needs, I see an ongoing need will be filtering. The ability to easily create and curate information has not necessarily eased information overload, or infowhelm, rather it has increased. Digital literacy can address this issue by upskilling users on effective filtering techniques. Even though it’s going on 11 years old, Clay Shirky’s key note on filter failure from 2008 is an interesting watch.

It is near impossible to keep up with the plethora of tools available. If anything, this highlights the necessity to be well-versed in filtering. We must be discerning in our choices so as not to overload or overwhelm ourselves. Each tool has a particular use and may be more or less useful depending on the context. Wheeler stresses that we should not adopt new technology then decide how it might be useful (IATED, 2015). The technology or tool should be identified in response to a problem; a way to solve a problem. This is something I need be mindful of when developing my knowledge and skills in these areas.

It would be helpful to identify particular uses, enablers and barriers to each tool and platform I am exploring, then curate a collection that would be most helpful to my college context and the needs of the college community. As suggested by O’Connell (2012), making use of my PLE and PLN to find and test tools are two avenues I have used and will continue to use to develop my knowledge and skills in addressing information literacy and digital fluency needs. Through Twitter and various blogs, I follow different organisations and individuals who work in the areas of technology, education and literacy, so I have a range of perspectives to choose from.


IATED. (2015, March 17). Steve Wheeler: Digital learning futures: Mind the gap! [Video file]. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2012). Learning without frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action. ACCESS, March, 4-7. Retrieved from

Wheeler, S., & Gerver, R. (2015). Learning with ‘e’s: Educational theory and practice in the digital age. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.

Valenza, J. (2010, May 9). On transliteracy: Learning more [Blog post]. Retrieved from

[Forum Reflection: Module 2.2]

#PLN #Informationliteracy #transliteracy #PLE #filtering #digitalfluency

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