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Developing Digital Literacies

Developing Digital Literacies
A Framework for Professional Learning

Foreword by Patrick Larkin

Additional resources:

July 2013 | 200 pages | Corwin

Turn teachers—and students—into tech-savvy digital citizens!

Digital literacies are essential for managing information and communication in our rapidly changing world—but the old scattered approaches to introducing technology have left many teachers playing catch-up with their students. With this authentic, job-embedded professional development program, you’ll help K–12 teachers incorporate digital literacies into their classrooms once and for all.

Using a modular, highly adaptable framework that capitalizes on the personnel and resources you already have available, this comprehensive program includes:

  • Instructions on developing personal learning networks (PLN) for collaborative learning and applying digital literacies in the classroom
  • Tips for maximizing teacher motivation and buy-in
  • Technology-related supports to enable schoolwide curriculum integration
  • A companion website with electronic planning and implementation materials, sample instructional tools, and links to supporting resources

When you empower teachers to harness existing technologies and digital resources, they’ll build upon their teaching expertise—and change the way students learn.

"Summey presents a well-crafted, technology professional development model that is sound in practice, adaptable, and can be easily implemented at the local level. And, as an added bonus, he includes a new digital literacies framework that surrounds the professional development structure and is a stellar model for framing the teaching and learning of the important 21st century skill-set for both educators and students!"
—Kathy Schrock, Educational Technologist

Foreword, by Patrick Larkin
About the Author
1. New Literacies in a Digital World

Defining Digital Literacies


The Digital Literacies

Emergent Literacies

Computer Literacy

Cultural Literacy

Game Literacy

Media Literacy

Multimedia Literacy

Network Literacy

Social Literacy

Visual Literacy

Web Literacy


Information Literacy

New Literacies

Digital Literacy

Commonalities among Emergent Literacies

The Five Digital Literacies

Locating and Filtering

Sharing and Collaborating

Organizing and Curating

Creating and Generating

Reusing and Repurposing


Digital Literacies in the Context of Teaching and Learning

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

2. Professional Development That (Really) Works

Part One: Characteristics of Effective Professional Development




Cohesive and Ongoing

Common Problems and Pitfalls

Technical Issues

Logical Issues

Affective Issues

A Concise, Step-Wise Approach





Part Two: Professional Development Models, Formats, and Approaches


Virtual Conferences




Professional Learning Communities

Peer Mentoring

Self-Directed Activities

Creative Approaches to In-House Professional Development

Summer Academy



After-School Cohorts

Lunch-n-Learn / Prep-Period Tune-Ups


Online/On-Demand (“On-Your-Own”)


Learning Bursts


Hosting Content

Mobile Learning (“On-the-Go”)


Questions for Reflection and Discussion

3. A Framework for Program Development and Implementation
Needs Assessment

Creating the Survey

Timing Is Key

Delivery Method

A Modular Approach

Faculty Seminars

Professional Learning Communities

Experimenting: Play Is Okay

Collective Knowledge


Pursuing Results

Peer Mentoring



Personal Learning Networks

Individual Classroom Integration

Individual Consultations & Training and Support Resources

Program Timeline

Program Evaluation

Session Evaluations

Midpoint and End-of-Year Surveys

PLC Share-Out Days

Building on the Best

Emerging Leaders

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 4 Teacher Leaders and Support Structures
Layers of Support

Administrative Support and Resources

Program Coordinator


Large-Group Training

Train the Trainer

Participant Leaders

Support Site

Individualized Support

Looking for Leaders

Opinion Leaders

The Three L’s of Leadership

80/20 Principles

Developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 5 Promoting Buy-In and Active Participation
Making the Positive Pitch

Common Challenges

Time and Scheduling

Apathy and Burnout

Poor Quality and Lack of Substance

Marketing Your Program

Creating a Brand for Your Program



Public Relations

Making the Sale

The Importance of Relationships

Leveraging Intrinsic Motivation

Breaking Down Barriers

Incentivizing Teacher Participation

How to Tank a Teaser

Door Prizes

Instructional Materials

Release Time

Salary Schedule Advancement


Presenter Compensation

Making the Connection to the Classroom

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 6 Long-Term Planning: Ensuring a Lasting Impact
An Embedded Approach

Resources and Support

Professional Growth Plans


Faculty Turnover, Base Training, and Recalibration

Personal Learning Networks

The Plan

Tracks and Strands

Recognition Programs

Developing a Digital Literacies Action Plan

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 7 The Tools of Technology
Locating and Filtering

What Is It?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Related Tools

Examples in Teaching and Learning

Sharing and Collaborating

What Is It?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Related Tools

Examples in Teaching and Learning

Organizing and Curating

What Is It?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Related Tools

Examples in Teaching and Learning

Creating and Generating

What Is It?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Related Tools

Examples in Teaching and Learning

Reusing and Repurposing

What Is It?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Examples in Teaching and Learning

Related Tools

Mobile Learning

Digital Literacies Integration Plan



Key features
  • Bridges the gap between knowing and doing.   Teachers become empowered to harness existing technologies and readily accessible digital resources in order to build upon their own teaching expertise and change the way students learn. 
  • An in-depth professional development resource complete with the technology-related supports to enable school-wide curriculum integration.
  • The book’s companion website ( includes electronic versions of planning and implementation materials, sample instructional tools, and links to additional supporting resources such as tutorials, lesson ideas, and multimedia content that will further enable a successful professional development initiative and ultimately effective integration into classroom instruction.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Front Matter

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483332857

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