Major Project – Cindy Leach Plunkett – Digital Literacy

 Welcome to my ETEC540 Major Paper on Digital Literacy. 

My name is Cindy (Leach) Plunkett.  As an English major my first compunction when thinking about a ‘major paper’ was to ‘write’ a 2000 word paper.  When I say write, I do mean with pen and paper, with a subsequent transcription into MS Word for online posting.  Amusing, yes?  As you can see I reconsidered my options.  Not only because of the hypocrisy of ‘writing’ a paper for a Masters of Educational Technologies course, but also because of the topic.  It’s time to start ‘walking the walk’ so to speak.  If you Google, you’ll find about a half dozen pages, blogs, presentations, started in other mediums before I settled on WordPress.  Sadly I opted for the tool that was free, comfortable, familiar and easy to use.  I longed to use Prezi or to create a movie using Windows Movie Maker, but sadly I lacked the time, confidence and imagination.  I found myself wondering if my situation is unique, or could this feeling be true for many others, not only in this class but also within my corporation.  Is this an issue of Digital Literacy?  What is Digital Literacy?  How many others struggle with Digital Literacy?

     The cascade of questions spurred by simply trying to pick a medium before the topic is one of my reasons for exploring Digital Literacy.  The other reason is related to my learners.  The group I work with was created due to a needs analysis at our organization.  It was done back in 2000 just as the organization was about to implement a very aggressive information management strategic plan.  The clinicians very strongly indicated that in order to feel supported and for the implementation to succeed, they needed on site, one to one computer training.  We’ve come a long way since then, all of our units now have electronic medication order entry and administration, but implementations like our new ePaystubs have highlighted that there is still a large population that struggle with Digital Literacy.  I wanted to explore this topic further to see if I could discover strategies to better support and educate this group.

     I work best moving from macro elements to micro elements, scaffolding my learning along the way.  I therefore developed the following exploratory questions to lead me towards my goal:  What is Digital Literacy?, Why is Digital Literacy important?,  What does this mean in Canada?, Does the Digital Divide effect Canada and Digital Literacy? and lastly, What does this mean for my learners/class?

To view my presentation please go to

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