Literacy and Internet Technologies

Living reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)


Increasing access to and usage of Internet-networked tools around the world continue to shape and change literacy practices within social and educational contexts. It is these evolving literacies, rather than the tools themselves, that ground and motivate our discussion in this chapter. We highlight historical innovations in Internet technologies and outline major contributions foundational to understanding the changing nature of literacy: multimodality, sociality, and critical digital literacies. Next, we explore the concepts of transnational identities, literacy ecologies, and gaming as fields in progress within the increasingly mobile and interconnected world. We then turn to critical social issues, including the digital divide and the ways in which the Internet continues to drive and problematize the definitions and boundaries of education, communication, and literacy. Finally, we consider future directions for the field, including emerging implications for research, definitions of literacy, conceptions of teaching in its relation to learning, new applications/practices, statistical images of Internet access, and celebrated projects and research studies, all of which illustrate the contemporary wired literacy landscapes of the world.


Critical digital literacies Digital divide Ecology Gaming Internet Multimodality Sociality Technology Transnational 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and InstructionLT Media Lab, University of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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