This Call addresses all members of the ELINET Association and external experts to contribute to our Annual Topic 2020-2021: Enhancing digital literacy skills in early and primary years’ education. We are looking for good practice examples from three areas: 

  1. concerning the effectiveness of the digital tools used by educators and caregivers, to developchildren’s language and literacy proficiencies across different modalities.  In childhood, digital tools can be helpful in fostering basic language skills, basic reading skills (“learning to read”) and reading for comprehension (“reading to learn”). In addition, we want good practice examples concerning writing (learning to write and create information by writing) and using digital devices for sharing information.
  2. concerning competencies specific to the digital media (creating and using the hardware and software), for instance, use of digital devices as a medium for coding and programming, or a “playground” for learning a variety of creative digital-based skills.
  3. concerning additional skills such as locating, comprehending and integrating information distributed across sources and formats, critically evaluating the reliability and validity of the available information, and adjusting comprehension and expression strategies according to the different types of interactions that are required (for example social media posts versus longer, deeper academic content). 

We kindly ask you to spread this call within your regional and national networks (if necessary translate it into your national language) and to submit good practice examples on our ELINET website where you will find an online template ( DEADLINE: 31 October 2020.

We will review and analyze the submitted examples according to jointly agreed criteria and publish them on our website in case of approval. Furthermore, we will integrate the most remarkable features of these examples into our European Framework of Good Practice and our Policy Paper on this topic.

Background: Digital media are now the norm for everyday literacy practices – the rise and spread of digital technologies have significantly altered what it means to be literate in the 21st century, with profoundly enabling (or disabling) implications for interpersonal, community and individual communication. The inclusion of digital technologies is seen as an imperative for children’s later learning and participation in an ever-changing digital world. However, despite some attempts, there is an absence of a commonly agreed competence framework for digital literacy in the early years and a lack of understanding of what it should mean to be digitally-literate. To address these gaps, the ELINET Association decided to work on this topic in a joint bi-annual project 2020- 2021 and to continue this work for secondary students and adolescents in the future. 

Our concept of digital literacy: In the absence of a commonly agreed competence framework of digital literacy of children, we adopt a “working definition” which will be refined later: The ultimate goal of digital literacy is for children to locate, comprehend, integrate, create and use information from multiple sources (online texts, videos, audio, images, interactive graphics,...) as well as to communicate and express effectively in various modalities at home and at school (oral, paper, visual, digital). We ask you to provide good practice examples for three different age groups:

Age group 0 – 3 years (toddlers)

  • Linguistic foundations of literacy (learning the oral language of the community, all aspects, not just vocabulary which is incredibly important, but also syntax, morphology, communication strategies, understanding another person and expressing oneself).
  • Pre-literacy, awareness of and interactions with written material in any modality and the differences and connections of print with visual and auditory material. 

Age group 3 – 6 years (pre-primary years / kindergarten)        

  • Digital tools for fostering emergent literacy such as fostering oral language skills, listening and narrative skills, writing skills, metalinguistic skills such as phonological and phonemic awareness.
  • Use of digital tools (devices/apps) as a “playground” for learning a variety of creative digital-based skills: for instance, producing graphic art story books and digital stories, animation, introduction to coding, programing Lego robots, composing musical pieces.    

Age group 6 – 10 years (first years of primary school)  

  • Fostering basic reading skills: grapheme-phoneme-relations, morphemes, decoding, fluency, comprehension (“learning to read”)
  • Fostering high level reading skills:  learning and using metacognitive strategies of monitoring, rehearsal, elaboration, critical and creative thinking regarding online and print content (“reading to learn”)
  • Fostering the effective use of tools and strategies for reading online: best use of search engines, choosing the right search words to locate information, to get the main idea, to skim and scan, learning how to evaluate information in searches (detect biases and attempts to influence opinions or consumption, to recognize fake-news)
  • Fostering writing and communication skills
  • Using digital devices to foster reading for pleasure

Use of digital devices as a medium for coding and programming, a “playground” for learning and developing a variety of creative digital-based skills.

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