Computer Programming as Digital Literacy

If the so-called ‘Digital Natives’ don’t know how to program a computer, are they really digitally literate? In his blog, Tony Forster presents an “argument for the authoring of interactive or programmable multimedia as an important meta-literacy skill.”  It’s a good start to this particular discussion, I think.

Certainly, in traditional schooling literacy is not just about reading – it is also about authoring. With digital literacy, in writing blogs or posting videos to YouTube students are using digital technologies while authoring written or visual content. They are acting as consumers of digital technology while producing content. Full digital literacy requires the ability to create new interactive experiences – i.e. programming. This view is also presented by Mitch Resnick et. al. in their recent paper for CACM:

Resnick, M., Maloney, J., Monroy-Hernández, A., Rusk, N., Eastmond, E., Brennan, K., et al. (2009). Scratch: programming for all. Commun. ACM, 52(11), 60-67. doi: 10.1145/1592761.1592779

Leave a Reply