Digital Literacy and the Spaces of Academic Discourse

Mitchell, Peta (2012) Digital Literacy and the Spaces of Academic Discourse. In Trifonas, Peter Pericles (Ed.) Learning the Virtual Life : Public Pedagogy in a Digital World. Routledge, New York, pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

Digital literacy poses a particular challenge to the research-led university. Although these universities are often at the forefront of introducing digital literacy initiatives—such as e-learning platforms, technological infrastructure, and digital repositories—these applications of digital literacy tend to be more instrumental or functional than critical or creative. Certainly, this clash of cultures between the instrumental/functional and the critical/analytical is at the heart of debates over the uses of digital literacy in higher education. However, this simple equation of political forces with instrumentality and the corresponding equation of the university with a tradition of reflective thought that brings criticism to bear on instrumentality elide the fact that this conflict is more deeply rooted within the academy. This essay argues that, in fact, much of the resistance to critical uses of digital literacy comes from within the institution of the university itself. That is, the university is bound up in a scriptural economy that prioritises the printed word and that reinforces its power by way of a normative, political, and spatialised academic discourse. It is this print-based scriptural economy—in which this essay must acknowledge its own complicity—that a critical approach to digital literacy threatens to disrupt or lay bare.

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ID Code: 69217
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Academic discourse, Digital literacy, HERN
ISBN: 9780415892049
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 27 Mar 2014 02:22
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 03:40

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