Digital Literacy Centre

$2.5 Million Grant with an Additional $10.4 Million Funding in Institutional and Research Partner Support to Study Reading in the Digital Age

March 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Andrew Saxton (on far left), Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, announced millions in funding to social sciences and humanities researchers yesterday, highlighting in particular a multi-million digital literacy project involving members of the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

The announcement was made from the University of Victoria, which described the project in its press release thus:

From ancient cave paintings to hand-printed books to Facebook, people have been reading in various forms for thousands of years. But what will the act of reading look like in the future and what can we learn from the past to ensure digital applications enhance and expand the reading experience?

That’s what an international team of researchers led by Project Director Ray Siemens (UVic, far right in above photo) and Research Area Leaders Richard Cunningham (Acadia U), Teresa Dobson (UBC), Alan Galey (U Toronto), Susan Schreibman (Royal Irish Academy), and Claire Warwick (University College London) will be studying over the next seven years through their participation in the “Implementing New Knowledge Environments” (INKE) project. Funded with nearly $2.5 million through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) program with an additional $10.4 million funding in institutional and research partner support, this team of 35 researchers and 21 partner agencies will develop a better understanding of literacy in the digital age.

“We describe our work as ‘the future of the history of the book’,” says Siemens. “We’ll be looking at several thousands of years of societal interaction with book-like objects and examine through them how society mobilizes and interacts with knowledge. We’ll be able to contribute directly to digital developments in this area.”

A full list of researchers (including UBC’s Teresa Dobson and John Willinsky), participating institutions, and partners can be found at the project’s website,

Tags: Digital Literacy

1 response so far ↓

  • Kedrick James // Mar 17th 2009 at 11:32 am

    Hearty congratulations to all involved, this is a major achievement for the future of literacy education and innovative language arts pedagogy around the world. Undoubtedly it will provide insights into the field of digital life and learning at a time when it is most vital to do so. It is a credit to the department and the digital literacy center to have such fine scholars and initiatives housed within. e-lations!

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