1 University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
2 Durham College (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 1589 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
There are both common and unique aspects of information literacy (IL) and digital literacy (DL) skill sets. IL broadly refers to the skills involved in finding, evaluating, and managing information. DL typically involves finding, organizing, evaluating, and creating information using digital technology.
Over the past several decades, IL has been identified as a centrally important skill set promoting success among university students. Within nursing programs and through accreditation requirements, IL skills are increasingly explicitly defined. More recently, the emergence of IL competency standards for nursing is noteworthy (e.g., ACRL, 2013).

Parallel to the heightened focus on developing IL skills among nursing students has been an unprecedented growth in available information and communication technology (ICT) over the past decade. This new technology, including devices such as smartphones and tablets, is now readily available to nurses and nursing students at the point of care, promoting real time advances in the ability of care providers to seek out and communicate the most relevant information in any given situation. As a result, it is imperative for nursing educators to now contemplate the DL skill set required by nursing students (and future nurses).

This paper describes the experiences of one University-College collaborative nursing program through a pilot adoption of iPad technology by nursing students for classroom and clinical learning. Through reflection on and evaluation of learner and faculty experiences and perceptions, a fundamental pedagogical shift is taking place. Whereas the iPad pilot was initially focussed on enabling nursing students to use a particular device at the point of care to promote enhanced nursing practice, over time this focus has expanded. Rather than seeking to understand how best to teach students to use “device X” to enhance nursing practice, faculty are now turning to a more central question: what is the DL skill set required of modern nurses (and hence nursing students) such that they are able to capitalize on available and emerging ICTs? By reframing the question, nursing faculty members are able to move beyond old views of technology as an adjunct to nursing practice. Instead, by explicitly focusing on the identification and promotion of an advanced DL skill set among nursing students, the practice of nursing is both enhanced and expanded as faculty members, students, support services personnel and academic administrators step into the future of nursing as it is being written, quite literally in the palms of their hands.
Nursing Education, Digital Literacy, Information Literacy, Information and Communication Technology.