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The State of Digital Literacy: A literature review

Digital literacy for students, workers, and citizens in an increasingly digital economy.

The main purpose of this literature review is to bring together relevant research in order to contextualize the Brookfield Institute’s broader State of Digital Literacy in Canada study. While scoping out Canadian policy texts and existing programs, it also draws on international research, best practices, and the work of digital literacy experts globally to define digital literacy, the skills it comprises, as well as its importance. These sources have pulled mainly from educational and pedagogical research, work on technology and the economy, as well as a variety of policy papers, reports, recommendations, and studies. 

This review has found several broad themes of focus in the digital literacy:

    •    Defining the term itself and what skills it comprises; 

    •    Its place in the digital economy and the changing nature of the workplace; 

    •    How digital literacy can and should be taught from kindergarten to the workforce; and 

    •    How digital literacy can address and exacerbate 5 existing digital divides and exclusions.


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