Digital Literacy Development in Teacher Education: A Case Study

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With increasing technological advancement, developing citizens’ digital literacy is more crucial than ever before in supporting Canada’s societal and economic future. Teachers hold a critical role in fostering their students’ digital literacy development. Using case study methodology, the objective of this research was to gain a deeper understanding from the perspectives of an administrator and five instructors on how pre-service teachers understand and develop digital literacy with the central research question of: How is digital literacy developed within a Design-based Thinking course in a teacher education program? The research question was investigated through collecting data on opportunities in one teacher education program for pre-service teachers in developing digital literacy in a Design-based Thinking course. Data were collected using individual interviews, focus group interviews, and document analysis. The collected data were analyzed through thematic analysis and two cycles of coding to identify emergent themes of participants’ understanding and perceptions of digital literacy development within the context of the Design-based Thinking course within the teacher education program. Four key findings emerged from this research study. First, instructors’ openness (or risk-taking) and modeling the usage of digital technologies in courses within the teacher education program encourage pre-service teachers to use digital technologies. Second, opportunities for feedback in support of pre-service teachers’ digital literacy development can be provided through learning tasks and assessments. Third, teacher education programs need to consider establishing program goals focused on developing digital literacy and provide professional development opportunities to support instructors’ in designing and facilitating pre-service teachers’ digital literacy development. Fourth, instructors need to have an understanding of digital literacy to design authentic and embedded learning tasks for pre-service teachers focused on supporting digital literacy development.
digital literacy, digital literacy development, teacher education programs, pre-service teachers, instructors
Fedorko-Bartos, K. (2021). Digital Literacy Development in Teacher Education: A Case Study (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from