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

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83 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-158
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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