Materialist Perspectives on Digital Technologies

Informing Debates on Digital Literacy and Competence

Associate Professor Holger Pötzsch 1
  • 1 Department of Linguistics and Culture, UiT Tromsø


The present article brings critical media research and science and technology studies (STS) into dialogue with approaches to digital literacy and digital competencies in educational contexts. In particular, it focuses on material aspects of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as technical infrastructure, economic conditions, ecological consequences, and code-based as well as embodied forms of impact, and argues that digital applications and devices have ambiguous and often contradictory affordances and effects that need to be addressed in academic literature and pedagogical practice. The main objective is to inform on-going debates on the nature and content of digital literacy and digital competence from a critical materialist vantage point, and to facilitate learning and teaching about, rather than with, digital technologies by highlighting salient issue areas in need of continued critical attention.

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