SCHOLARS’ USE OF DIGITAL TOOLS: OPEN SCHOLARSHIP AND DIGITAL LITERACY
Universidade Aberta, Laboratory of Distance Education and E-Learning (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The evolution of the Web 2.0 technologies and the affordances offered by digital and networked forms of content and communication have promoted the birth of emerging digital environments, which, in turn, reflect new practices and behaviours by individuals in a university academic context.
This paper discusses how the social, networked and participatory characteristics of the Web 2.0 influence the role of scholars and scholarly practice in a 21st century reality. Two important concepts emerge from this analysis: the notions of scholarship and digital literacy.
In this context, scholarship is analysed in Boyer’s (1990) perspective of the scholarship of discovery, traditionally referring to the activities carried out by scholars for research purposes. The current use of digital tools has been shaping the research work of scholars in different ways, in what has been termed as social scholarship (Cohen, 2007), open scholarship (Burton, 2009; Pearce et al., 2010), digital open scholarship (Weller, 2011) and networked participatory scholarship (Veletsianos & Kimmons, 2011).
Taking into consideration the scholarly communication cycle proposed by Czerniewicz et al. (2014), all stages of the research process are influenced by the increasing use of the Web 2.0 technologies. Thus, scholarship in a digital age is influenced by different factors, such as networking, sharing of digital data, increased collaborative work and increased emphasis on openness.
Within this background, digital literacy is becoming increasingly important, as scholars’ use of digital tools builds their digital identity in this networked and collaborative world. According to Costa & Torres (2011), there is a need to promote new ways of collaborating and disseminating work as part of the digital presence, both at a personal as well as at an academic and professional level. Therefore, the digital presence consists of building a digital identity in the various spaces the individual is connected with and this is no longer an individual process, but a process that somehow depends on their network.
In this sense, digital literacy is more than being technically able to operate digital devices, it implies the use of several cognitive skills to perform specific tasks in digital environments. “Digital literacy has become a “survival skill” in the technological era—a key that helps users to work intuitively in executing complex digital tasks” (Eshet-Alkali & Amichai-Hamburger, 2004, p.421).
With the current analysis, we intend to understand the influence of the Web 2.0 technologies in a 21st century scholarship, more particularly, how digital tools are used and help change the specific stages of scholarly practice.
Keywords: Digital identity, digital literacy, openness, scholarship, Web 2.0.