I know you love being the contrarian, but in part you are railing against a straw man here. It’s OK…I do it too. Maybe it’s not “digital literacy” but what’s needed necessarily involves the digital. It’s why I don’t talk about digital fluency, but about information fluency… knowing damn well it must include the digital. I could just as well talk about creative fluency.
But no one– OK almost no one– who talks about “digital literacy” is actually talking strictly about the digital. Everyone is muddling around in a misty and complex confusion of cognition, linguistics, creative and critical acts… it is now as it ever was, its just a lot more OBVIOUS how confused things actually are when you get beyond the most fundamental themes in education.
In the end, we just keep creating new phrases that allow us to mask our reiteration of the same themes: beyond the basics, education is about making; making is hard; we’ve been trying to figure it out since capital-A Ancient times and it’s fundamentally the same nut now we were trying to crack then.
Of course digital literacies are needed, the technology subsumed by the term “digital” have become an inescapable part of the world, just as traditional literacy is needed because writing is a part of the world. But it doesn’t stop there… that’s the easy part. Which is mystifying because digital literacy is no mystery, it’s simply a pre-cursor. All the discussions about it a smokescreen for the age-old confusion and consternation about what it means to engage creativity. It’s as if everyone decided to start arguing regularly about how to shape letters and which letters should be in the alphabet, never getting to the point of helping students write poems.