Digital Literacy Narrative

Printer friendly version: DLN Assignment Guidelines

Due Dates:

12 Sep:

14 Sep:

Audio  draft for in-class peer review

Written draft for in-class peer review

19 Sep:

Audio and written drafts for in-class presentation and submission in Blackboard by midnight

Summary of Assignment: 

For this project, you will create two texts:

  • a 900 – 1200 written narrative that critically analyzes your experiences with digital technologies and how they shape who you are as a communicator in the twenty-first century (5%).
  • a 60-120 second audio text that translates your written narrative into aural form (5%).

I would like you to think about your digital literacy. More specifically, I would like you to consider how digital technologies have impacted the way you communicate today. Dennis Baron states that “[t]he computer, the latest development in writing technology, promises, or threatens, to change literacy practices for better or worse.” Barbara R. Jones Kavalier and Suzanne L. Flannigan argue “that literacy today depends on understanding the multiple media that make up our high-tech reality and developing the skills to use them effectively” (8). Elizabeth Daley contends that “[t]echnology is simply enabling [. . .] alternative ways of communicating to penetrate our lives more directly and in more powerful ways” (40).

Using ideas from Baron, Jones-Kavalier and Flannigan’s, and Daley’s essays write a 900 – 1200 word essay about what digital literacy means to you. In addition to a written essay, you will also create a 60-120 second audio text that briefly summarizes your digital literacy narrative.

As you develop ideas for your narrative, think about the forms of media we use to communicate today. In a formal manner, we communicate via email and we submit digital résumés when looking for employment. In a less formal manner, we post images and videos and update our status in Facebook and Twitter. Blogging has become a ubiquitous form of communication and occurs in both formal and informal ways. Posting in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or in a blog has become so common that we often do not consider the digital literacy we are using.

In addition to considering how digital literacies have impacted the way you communicate, also consider the broader implications for both experienced and inexperienced users.

Your essay should fully consider the rhetorical situation, with a clear purpose and audience in mind. You should also develop an argument and strong thesis that makes a claim about digital literacy and what it means to you.

Producing two texts in written and audio modes, asks you to critically evaluate the broader implications of digital literacies in the twenty-first century.

Documentation: Please document and cite any direct quotations, paraphrases, or summaries you include from Baron, Daly, or Jones-Kavalier and Flannigan. Please follow MLA style and include a works cited list (see Works Cited list below; you may copy and paste from this list).

Works Cited

Baron, Dennis. “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technology.” n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2012. <>

Daly, Elizabeth. “Expanding the Concept of Literacy.” Educause (March/April 2003): 33-4. Web. 4 Jan. 2012.

Jones-Kavalier, Barbara R, and Suzanne L. Flannigan. “Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century.” Eudcause Quarterly 2 (2006): 8-10. Web. 4 Jan. 2012.

Leave a Reply