Defining Digital Literacy

What Young People Need to Know About Digital Media
  • David Buckingham


The debate about digital technology and education has moved beyond the question of basic access. Attention is now focusing on the issue of what young people need to know about technology – that is, the forms of competence and understanding they need if they are going to use technology effectively and critically. The debate now is about ‘digital literacy’. And yet digital literacy is often narrowly defined, as merely a matter of technical skill.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beavis, C (1998) ‘Computer games, culture and curriculum’, in I. Snyder (ed.) Page to Screen: Taking Literacy into the Electronic EraGoogle Scholar
  2. Buckingham, D. (1993) Children Talking Television: The Making of Television Literacy London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  3. Buckingham, D. (2003) Media Education: Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture Cambridge: PolityGoogle Scholar
  4. Burbules, N.C. and Callister, T.A. (2000) Watch IT: The Risks and Promises of Information Technologies for Education Boulder, CO: WestviewGoogle Scholar
  5. Burn, A. and Durran, J. (2006) ‘Digital Anatomies: analysis as production in media education’, pp. 273–293 in D. Buckingham and R. Willett (eds.) Digital Generations: Children, Young People and New Media Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  6. Burn, A. and Durran, J. (2007) Media Literacy in Schools London: Paul ChapmanGoogle Scholar
  7. Carr, D., Buckingham, D., Burn, A. and Schott, G. (2006) Computer Games: Text, Narrative and Play Cambridge: PolityGoogle Scholar
  8. Fabos, B. (2004) Wrong Turn on the Information Superhighway: Education and the Commercialization of the Internet New York: Teachers College PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Gilster, P. (1997) Digital Literacy New York: WileyGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodson, I. and Mangan, J.M. (1996) ‘Computer literacy as ideology’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 17(1): 65–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture New York: New York University PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Kress, G. (1997) Before Writing: Rethinking the Paths to Literacy London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Lachs, V. (2000) Making Multimedia in the Classroom: A Practical Guide London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  14. Livingstone, S. (2004) ‘The challenge of changing audiences: or, what is the audience researcher to do in the age of the internet?’ European Journal of Communication, 19(1): 75–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lorac, C. and Weiss, M. (1981) Communication and Social Skills Exeter: Wheaton.Google Scholar
  16. Mackey, M. (2002) Literacies Across Media: Playing the Text London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Messaris, P. (1994) Visual ‘Literacy’: Image, Mind and Reality Boulder, Colorado: Westview.Google Scholar
  18. Oram, B. and Newman, J. (2006) Teaching Videogames London: British Film InstituteGoogle Scholar
  19. Salen, K. and Zimmerman, E. (2004) Rules of Play; Game Design Fundamentals Cambridge, MA: The MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  20. Sinker, R. (1999) ‘The Rosendale Odyssey: multimedia memoirs and digital journeys’, in Sefton-Green, J. (ed.) Young People, Creativity and New Technologies London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Warlick, D. (2005) Raw Materials for the Mind: A Teacher’s Guide to Digital Literacy Fourth edition, Raleigh, NC: The Landmark ProjectGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Buckingham
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of EducationLondon University 

Personalised recommendations