The way we engage and work with one another is changing. The definition of digital literacy—and the skills and capabilities that it comprises—continues to expand as technology evolves and becomes more pervasive. People are under pressure to remain up to date for civic and social participation, to access public services, and to succeed in a digitizing economy.
While Canada is making exciting strides in the area of digital literacy, we still have some way to go. To keep pace with changing digital capabilities and applications, we need an inclusive, dynamic, and connected landscape of programs and policies that support all learners in their quest for digital literacy, no matter where they start or what their end goals are.
To get there, it’s more important than ever that we have an accurate picture of digital literacy: what it is, what the demand for and supply of digital skills are, who is offering digital literacy education, and who is falling through the cracks when it comes to access. To answer these questions, we are working on a series of research projects that explore the state of digital literacy in Canada. These include a collaborative action-research project testing a model for delivering accessible digital literacy education across Ontario, and a series of qualitative and quantitative projects examining the state of digital literacy in Canada, the education and training landscape, and barriers faced by learners at all levels and ages.