From digital consumption to digital invention

Cothran, T


Mirra, N., Morrell, E., & Filipiak, D. (2018). From digital consumption to digital invention: Toward a new critical theory and practice of multiliteracies. Theory into Practice, 57(1), 12-19. doi:10.1080/00405841.2017.1390336


This article was more in the theoretical realm with the stated objective of articulating “a new critical theory of multiliteracies that encompasses 4 types of digital engagement: (a) critical digital consumption, (b) critical digital production, (c) critical distribution, and (d) critical digital invention” (p. 12). However, within this paper the authors described a group of West Oakland youth who engaged in a project about gentrification. The project, also described in a City Lab article (Bliss, 2015), was created with Youth Radio. The students were frustrated with the way the media was speaking about their increasingly gentrified neighborhoods and started asking critical questions around ownership of their narrative. They created interactive maps that included live links to stories by community members ensuring that long time residents’ stories were being told along with newcomers.


Talk about a learning experience with real world implications. It hit the top of the SAMR model (something I also learned via this topic!). The premise of the academic article is that we need new critical frameworks when analyzing digital invention and, like in the instance of this student driven project, the frameworks need to be viewed through the lenses of power and cultural studies. Wow! This article packed a punch. I will continue to reflect on it for a long time.


Bliss, L. (September 28, 2015). A youth driven interactive map of rapidly changing West Oakland. CityLab. Retrieved from

Teaching Digital Citizenship

John Beilock


MAUGHAN, S. (2017). Teaching digital citizenship. Publishers Weekly, 264(34), 35-44. Retrieved from

As technology and social media play an increasingly big role in the classroom, educators are faced with challenges of teaching students how to use technologies in appropriate ways, and how to be safe and responsible online—the basic tenets of what is known as digital citizenship

A good primer on how school librarians lead students in the tech age with Mike Ribble’s “Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship.”

Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies and Teaching Both

Hertz-Newman, Jenny


Bali, M. (2016). Knowing the difference between digital skills and digital literacies and teaching both. Literacy Today. Retrieved from:

This article makes the important distinction between digital skills such as the ability to use digital tools (i.e., how to download, how to retweet, how to use Powerpoint) and digital literacies, which Bali (2016) characterizes as the “issues, norms, and habits of mind surrounding technologies used for a particular purpose”.  In other words it’s important for teachers to make sure they are teaching both the HOW of using digital tools as well as the WHEN and WHY involved with using those tools.

I appreciate the way Bali (2016) discusses the contextualized teaching and learning involved in digital literacy — when would you use Google instead of another platform, when should your use be determined by issues of privacy, issues of source reliability, issues of appropriateness and long term consequences of a particular posting?  She proposes a progressive model, scaling up in complexity in both skills and literacy.


Digital Citizenship: A Holistic Primer

Coulterpark, Rebecca


TeachThought Staff.  (2016, October 28).  Digital citizenship: A holistic primer.  Retrieved from


This white paper discusses digital citizenship, its definition, its current role in schools, and how it should be employed in the future in schools. The team from Teach Thought discusses the history of digital citizenship, and how this new form of citizenship has developed as internet use has become more prevalent, especially as online resources have become more pertinent to education. They introduce the core themes involved with digital citizenship, proposing that they are 1) respect yourself and others; 2) educate yourself and others; 3) protect yourself and others. The paper continues by discussing the necessity of digital citizenship at all levels of education, and how to employ it and teach students about how to be good digital citizens. They conclude the paper by discussing how digital citizenship might evolve in the future and answering potential questions about digital citizenship with continuing technologies, and how to teach digital citizenship.

The Teach Thought Staff take an in depth look at digital citizenship, and discuss how it should be employed not only at the K-12 level, but also in higher education. This article does a good job of looking at, and explaining, different components of digital citizenship and what types of responsibilities we have as digital citizens and the important pieces to teach to students who are new to the digital world.
The breakdown of the sections makes it easy to navigate, and takes an easy to read approach to the topic of digital citizenship.

Ramos. Tara
TeachThought Staff.  (2015, October 7).  Moving students from digital citizenship to digital leadership.  Retrieved from

Summary:  The graphic below sums up the article nicely.

Evaluation:  I like this reframing.  It would mean teaching students to go beyond being citizens and participants in a digital world created by others and teach them that they can help to change and create new digital worlds.   I believe this would be empowering to students and it would engage them in learning in very meaningful ways.

Information Overload and Technology Addiction

Goodman, Jana

Sullivan, A. (2016). I used to be a human being. The New York Times. Retrieved from:

Summary:  This is an article about the dangers of information overload and the author’s personal experience and recovery from technology addiction.  Sullivan is an amazingly skilled author who in the past has used self examination and deep empathy to write about depression and the experiences of families who have a member with a mental illness or disability.  This article is mind-blowing and an important read for everyone involved in technology and information.  He makes the argument (and he is not the first person to make it) that the overload of information and constant information seeking is robbing us of important human connection.

Evaluation: I think this is an excellent article, it is very long but I was riveted.  It raises an important idea for librarians.  Even as we show students or patrons how to access limitless amounts of information, we should remember to also teach them life skills to limit this information.  What are the daily habits they need to form to use ever-changing technology and information in a reasonable and limited way so it does not erode their person to person skills and rob them of desperately important human contact?