Digital literacy: Reading for meaning-making, problem-solving and participation in the internet age

Image Adobe Stock

New literacies: an evolving context

I wrote the passage above in 2019 for a video called Read, write, think , my final project for the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy that year. As I explore several readings on digital literacy and online reading comprehension, most of which were written between 2003 and 2013, I can’t help but think of the ways in which the literacy challenges brought forward by these scholars have only been amplified in the last ten years as a result of enormous technological changes that affect the basic elements of online reading comprehension as defined by Hartman, Morsink & Zheng (2010): namely how the multiple dimensions and manifestations of texts, authors, readers, contexts, tasks and technologies interact.

Inquiry-based learning places the student at the center of their own process of discovery and meaning-making, with a bias to critical interventions. Images Adobe Stock (left) and Mariana Ochs (right).

From reading to participating

If definitions of texts and authors have become pliable and multidimensional, the same can be said of readers. Out-of-school and autonomous learning play an important role in developing reading and comprehension skills. No longer the content receptors of the TV generation, or dependent on teacher-led activities and teacher-selected texts to develop comprehension skills and strategies, in the internet age children and young people are eager for self-expression and discovery, and are driven by their own interests to explore a variety of non-typographical texts. They are learning on their own, from each other, on YouTube or through interacting on social platforms.


Coiro (2003). Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies. The Reading Teacher.



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Mariana Ochs

Mariana Ochs

Designer, educator, Google Innovator. Coordinator of EducaMídia. Exploring design, media and technology in education, and empowering youth in the digital age.