Digital Literacy

The Digital Literacy, Internet Research Skills Project, initiated in 2009, helps students and teachers develop the online research skills they need in order to deal with the vast amounts of online information they encounter every day.  Don Leu of the New Literacies Lab at the University of Connecticut led this project and MICDL provided coordination and facilitation support in Maine.

These Internet Research skills, which are listed in a taxonomy of skills called TICA (Teaching Internet Comprehension to Adolescents), include

  • locating,

  • evaluating,

  • synthesizing,

  • and communicating information using the Internet,

  • as well as the skills needed to engage in collaborative, cross-cultural, and problem-based learning.

There is research evidence that the teaching strategies and practices that have been developed in tandem with this framework of skills lead to improvements in online reading comprehension, problem-solving and communication skills.

Internet Research Skills Project – A new iteration of this work began in late 2011, with an emphasis on Internet research skills using the Internet Reciprocal Teaching (IRT) model as developed by Don Leu’s team at the New Literacies Lab at the University of Connecticut. For 2011-2012, MICDL contracted with Courtney Belolan, a teacher at Mount Ararat Middle School and a participant in the 2009-2010 project, to lead this project by providing professional development and ongoing support to more than 20 teachers who want to improve their teaching practices on how to help students develop Internet research skills.