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How many literacy types are there? What do they mean?




Kailyn Kennedy

In the article, Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric, by Doug Eyman, he explains how digital literacy is more complex because “…it requires the user to be able to read and write” using number systems (p. 45). Examples of this can be seen in coding, animation, audios, and even images. The term “literacy” on its own means another resource for writing as described by Eyman.


In addition, Eyman also talks about the necessity for having a multiliteracy approach of teaching digital literacy practices. There are four main points: visual, technological, digital, and electronic (p. 49). The reason you do this is to hit all of the students learning styles by having different approaches of passing down information to others.

  • First, Visual literacy relates to things being seen. This approach is for more visual learners who need to see things in order to grasp new ideas. Visual learners can grasp a concept just by looking at a picture or video or someone doing something. Some examples of this would include YouTube videos, demonstrations, books, etc.
  • Second, Technological literacy refers to allowing yourself to use technology safely and appropriately while understanding the information given. Some examples of this would include coding, creating webinars, and setting up a GoFundMe.
  • Third, Digital literacy is where you are able to understand and complete tasks on the web. For example, searching something up in Google, creating a YouTube video, and reading eBooks online. As stated in my previous blog, “What is Digital” it gives more information on that topic.
  • Fourth, Electronic literacy is when someone is learning or being assessed through a computer whether it be in reading, writing, or math. Some examples would be Kahoot, BrainPOP, and MobyMax.


Later in the article, Eyman states how “literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices” (p. 49). In addition, one interesting fact that he brought up that stuck out to me was that as technology and society change, so does literacy. This highlights how everything is constantly changing and that even though it may not seem like it, but it can always be a good thing and a step in the right direction.


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