Book review: Literacy in the digital university

Leedham, Maria (2014). Book review: Literacy in the digital university. System, 45 pp. 261–262.



This timely book comes amidst a plethora of online learning materials – such as the newly launched FutureLearn platform (2014) – and concern over the increasingly ubiquitous world of digital scholarship. Goodfellow and Lea's introduction to this edited collection outlines the widespread use of new technologies within tertiary education, contrasting early adopters and dinosaur resisters, and pointing out that many of us are “quietly getting on with using technologies, day to day, and developing new ways of working” (p. 1). The three concepts in the book's title are unpacked: ‘literacy’ is often used as a catch-all term meaning competence in an area (cf. ‘mathematical literacy’, ‘computer literacy’) and this approach is problematised by the authors (and indeed, throughout the volume) and contrasted with the multiplicity of practices around reading and writing signalled through the plural ‘literacies’. ‘Digital’ is used in different ways by contributing authors to refer to technologies, specific devices, networks, practices and more. Finally, ‘university’ might seem an uncontentious denotation of academic establishments in the physical world but of course now also refers to the very different institutional spaces within open educational resources (OERs).

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