Given the complexity of this area and the critical importance of the practices involved, it is unsurprising that we find a large number of competing frameworks for describing literacies of the digital age. They have been developed to meet different purposes, out of different theoretical and political perspectives, and using a wide range of terminologies from systems thinking to social science and critical theory. In this section, we are interested in pragmatic frameworks designed to be of use to those implementing institutional strategies, policies and practices, in support of learning for the digital age.
Frameworks offer a structure for outlining concepts, values, and practices that constitute a particular area of activity. They usually reflect the worldview of the author(s)/producer(s) which in turn affects how readily people will accept, value and use them. Imposed frameworks, such as the school sector national curriculum, are often supported by checks, testing, training and resources to ensure they are being implemented appropriately. Other frameworks operate more as a guide and have less supporting resources. It has been difficult to identify which frameworks are informing current practice as they are not always acknowledged in a formal sense. The number of overlapping frameworks that exist to support various sectors in education actually reflects the complexities of educational institutions and the various interest groups both within and supporting those. Evidence from the audits and case studies shows that institutions often take a pick-and-mix approach to developing a framework that is appropriate for their own context.
We have not tried to do justice to the plethora of theoretical and conceptual frameworks that exist in this area, but have reviewed significant examples for this study.The frameworks cover a range of types including:
- sectoral (e.g. school, FE, HE)