Digital literacy seems easy and obvious, almost a universal human right in a digital world. It should be the educational concept that underpins learning, prosperity and fulfilment.
In practice its historical development and delivery have been shaped by specific historical, technical, political and institutional forces, and its subsequent dissemination is failing to recognise its cultural baggage and bias.
Digital technology is now pervasive, ubiquitous and intrusive, taken-for-granted and no longer worth mentioning to digital natives and digital residents; it seems to support a chaotic abundance of content, communities and tools, and to effortlessly facilitate people and communities creating, sharing, storing, coopting, transforming, discussing and discarding opinions, identities, images, ideas and information.
In the developed regions of the world, it does however seem to presage a slide toward subjectivity, fragmentation and transience of learning at the onset of a crude post-modernity, whilst in the developing world it seems to presage the next round of the epistemicides that threaten fragile or marginal languages, cultures and traditions with the might of anglophone corporate technologies driving the global knowledge economy along the information superhighway.
So, what then are the roles of teachers, librarians and universities when everyone - well, almost everyone - seems to be able to learn for themselves and to teach others? And of course what exactly does digital literacy mean in these brave new worlds?