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Defining digital literacy development: An examination of pre-service teachers’ beliefs

Computers & Education Volume 138, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


We identify three conceptions of digital literacy development populating the literature: digital natives, skill-based, and sociocultural perspectives. We adopt a qualitative approach to examine pre-service teachers' beliefs about digital literacy development as aligned with each of these three perspectives. While pre-service teachers were most commonly found to hold skill-based perspectives on digital literacy development, digital natives aligned and sociocultural perspectives were also well-represented. We further identify perspectives on digital literacy development uniquely appearing in students' responses. These include pre-service teachers’ conception of digital literacy development as autonomously developed, technology driven, or project based. We further examine the contexts within which pre-service teachers situate digital literacy as emerging; these include both formal and informal settings. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for instruction.


List, A. (2019). Defining digital literacy development: An examination of pre-service teachers’ beliefs. Computers & Education, 138(1), 146-158. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 1, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on June 3, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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