Critical Digital Literacy: Technology in Education Beyond Issues of User Competence and Labour-Market Qualifications

  • Holger Pötzsch Dept. of Language and Culture UiT Tromsø
Keywords: digital literacy, education, technology, digital competencies and skills, critical approaches, digital capitalism, practice


The present contribution conducts an intervention in the study and practice of digital and media literacy. After reviewing key tenets of recent debates, I advance a specific understanding of the concept – critical digital literacy – that, as I argue, comprehensively addresses issues of knowledge, competencies, and skills in relation to digital technologies. In particular, I posit that critical thinking about educational and other values of ‘the digital’ needs to take structural aspects of the technology into account that are often eschewed in instrumental or commercially-driven approaches. To prepare pupils for their future lives requires a widest possible contextualisation of technology, including issues of exploitation, commodification, and degradation in digital capitalism. Finally, I make concrete suggestions for constructive uses of technology in teaching and learning.

Author Biography

Holger Pötzsch, Dept. of Language and Culture UiT Tromsø
Pötzsch (PhD) is associate professor in Media- and Documentation Studies at the Department of Culture and Literature at UiT Tromsø. He holds a PhD in Media and Documentation Studies and an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies.