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Digital Literacies @Macalester

Guide and information on Digital Literacies @Mac vision, definition, events

Definition of Digital Literacies

Digital literacies are skills and aptitudes that empower individuals to learn and use technology and communication tools in an effective, ethical, and appropriate manner. In a complex environment of dynamic technology change, a digitally literate individual is comfortable in continually learning and adapting to new technologies. A digitally literate person:

  • Locates, analyzes, evaluates, and integrates materials from reliable digital sources.
  • Uses digital resources in an ethical manner, respecting by acknowledging the work of others.
  • Protects their identity and manage their electronic footprint and portfolio.
  • Understands how to use technology in ways that preserve the security of their own and Macalester’s data.
  • Is comfortable problem solving and troubleshooting basic technology, software, and apps.
  • Identifies and uses appropriate technologies for their everyday work, discipline, scholarship, professional, and personal lives.
  • Uses technologies to construct, create, and communicate by sharing original works and new ideas. 
  • Changes work practices to adapt to new technologies.
  • Understands technology terminology relevant to shared tools and software relevant to their everyday work, discipline, scholarship, professional, and personal lives.
  • Pushes themself to try new technologies.
  • And become increasingly fluent with the digital world!

Digital Literacies Vision

Digital competencies are essential in the 21st century for both personal and professional success. Our program will foster a community of digital learners who are able to support and teach each other,  adapt to new and changing technologies, and become efficient at identifying and using appropriate technologies.

Macalester will become a campus community in which change and transformation are the expectation and where all students, faculty, and staff will confidently adopt and use technology appropriately for increased productivity, improved collaboration, and effective communication in this rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.

Who We Are

The Digital Literacies Steering Committee was formed in the spring of 2018.  This group was formed based on a need that was identified by members of both Information and Technology Services and the DeWitt Wallace Library related to improving the digital skills for community members.  In addition, we sought to address one of the strategic priorities of the college related to technology: Become a leader among liberal arts colleges in the use of technology to improve and broaden the reach of teaching and learning. (from Are We Thriving report (pdf).

Our initial meeting took place  in February 2018,  and was followed by a meeting of ACM IT and Library Directors that was held in Chicago on April 27, 2018.  Participating virtually,  Ted Wilder and Terri Fishel agreed to organize an ACM gathering to be held at Macalester College during the summer to discuss digital literacy efforts on our campuses.  An ACM workshop was held in July.  An outcome of that workshop was the groundwork for starting an initiative on our campus to address the growing needs for digital literacy among community members.  In the fall of 2018, with the approval and support of the Provost and Employment Services, the Digital Literacies Steering Committee launched our new initiative on Digital Literacies @Macalester.  The Macalester steering committee members  for 2020-21 are:

  • Avram Anderson
  • Suzanne Durkacs
  • Angi Faiks
  • Katy Gabrio
  • Beth Hillemann
  • Ginny Moran
  • Aisling Quigley
  • Brooke Schmolke
  • Louann Terveer