The Death of Digital Literacy?

We are pleased to invite Andrew Whitworth, from┬áManchester Institute of Education,┬áto speak on the topic of “The Death of Digital Literacy” on Monday February 15th, at 6pm. This will be in room A14 in the Hugh Owen building at Aberystwyth University. A map of the location is available.

The event is co-hosted with the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University.

There will be refreshments available from 6pm and the talk will start at 6.30pm.


In 2012 the Royal Society published Shutdown or Restart?, a report on the teaching of computing in schools which called for a renewed emphasis on coding, a change then pushed through into the National Curriculum by Michael Gove. The notion of ‘digital literacy’, though presented by the Royal Society as something fundamental to the effective application of computing in education, business, civic and private life, has been largely removed from the picture in UK schools, at least formally.

While a healthy community of ‘digital makers’ does exist, centred around micro-scale technologies like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, the way coding is now being taught in schools is not engaging those who might want or need to develop good digital literacy skills but do not want to become programmers or other ICT professionals. In essence, Gove’s ‘reform’ of the computing curriculum has turned UK computing back to the 1980s, the time of the first emergence of micro-computers onto the educational scene. There were many positive outcomes from this time, but to simply replicate the model now, in an era where so much more of life is mediated through the digital, is doing large numbers of children a disservice and storing up educational problems for the future.


Andrew Whitworth is Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, and Programme Director of the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education. He is the author of two books on digital, media and information literacy: Information Obesity (2009) and Radical Information Literacy (2014).


This event is free and open to everyone.

To help us plan for the catering, please register using the online form.