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Digital literacy practice cultivation: a crative challenge for the modern school

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Athanasios Mihalis
Athanasios Mihalis

Abstract


 

 This paper concerns digital literacy as a main dimension of social literacy in general, and especially as an important aspect of multimodal literacy. The main purpos-es of the paper (on a theoretical level) are the following: a) the definition of the nature and the main aspects and principles of digital literacy, which is regarded as not explicitly and sufficiently defined in an era of information and advanced technology; b) the presentation and analysis of students’ cognitive schemata (formal and content), which are a prerequisite for the cultivation of digital literacy practices, the social and linguistic aspects of digital literacy and the cultural dimension of this kind of literacy; c) the inves-tigation of ways to connect digital literacy and multimodality; d) the description of se-miotic resources and semiotic modes which are the main means for meaning making and meaning making transformation and redesigning, considered within the frame of social semiotic theory; e) finally, the discussion of some dimensions of critical digital literacy in 

educational systems. Additionally, the main aims of the present paper, as a contribution to scientific research in the literacy field, are: a) to investigate the ways digital literacy practices are cultivated in Greek primary and secondary education through content analysis of the Greek language curricula and course books in secondary education and through the critical analysis of educational discourse; b) to present Greek language teachers’ attitudes towards the term and the aspects of multimodality and its location in the Greek educational system (the data about teachers’ attitudes are collected through interviews). The results of the research show that, in Greek education, digital literacy practices are considered to be an intentional process and a system of knowledge and skills (according the autonomous model of literacy) without being viewed in their social and ideological aspects within a communicative and cultural community. The considera-tion of semiotic resources and digital tools as isolated from their social context is in con-trast to language as semiotic mode, which is examined and studied in its social and cul-tural context. Also, language teachers are confused as far as the notion and the aspects of multimodality are concerned. Finally an example is provided of analysing a multimodal text positing an argument, so as to highlight the construction of meaning through a vari-ety of semiotic modes.Using this example, the content and practice of Greek language as an educational subject could be rejuvenated.


Keywords


digital literacy; multimodality; cognitiove schemata; social semitics; semiotic modes; multimodal literacy sociocultural aspects;

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