Re-examining the Thoughtful Integration of Technology Through a Critical Digital Literacy Lens

Jodie LUU Tran Huynh Loan and LEE Kit Mun
Centre for English Language Communication (CELC)

Jodie and Kit Mun discuss the integration of technology in their communications module
from the lens of critical digital literacy. They presented this teaching and learning experience as a PechaKucha during the online
Higher Education Campus Conference (e-HECC) 2020

digital literacy
Photo courtesy of Edtech Magazine
Recommended Citation

Luu, J. T. H. L., & Lee K. M. (2020, Dec 8-9). Re-examining the thoughtful integration of technology through a critical digital literacy lens [Conference presentation]. Online Higher Education Campus Conference (e-HECC) 2020, Centre for Development of Teaching & Learning, National University of Singapore.

In this PechaKucha presentation, Jodie and Kit Mun aim to address the idea of thoughtful integration of technology in their module ES2660 “Communicating in the Information Age” from the lens of critical digital literacy (Hinrichsen & Coombs, 2013; Pangrazio, 2016). More than just using technology to enhance teaching and learning, it posits that the integration of technology plays a part in cultivating digital literacy in learners. Building on Freebody and Luke’s (1990) four-resource critical literacy model, Hinrichsen and Coombs (2013) propose the following five-resource critical digital literacy framework adapted for higher education:

  1. Decoding – practical and operational engagement
  2. Meaning making – narrative complexity in the digital
  3. Using – producing and consuming digital texts
  4. Analysing – becoming discerning practitioners
  5. Persona – identity issues and the digital

Emphasising reader roles, learner processes as well as text construction in the digital context, this framework is reflected in ES2660’s curriculum, which is built on Ennis’ (2013) taxonomy of critical thinking dispositions and abilities, and Fink’s (2003) taxonomy of curriculum design for higher education. Not only are ES2660 students expected to analyse and evaluate varied digital texts and media, a major component of ES2660 also requires them to articulate their interpretations and judgements of the texts in the form of a digital narrative, extemporaneous and prepared speeches, and a written reasoned response to a discipline-related issue they identify. This presentation aims to show how these activities, among others, operationalise the five resources in the model. The fifth resource, persona, or the presentation of self, is of particular relevance and significance as learners engage in digital interaction and exchange within their virtual classrooms, foregrounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal beyond.


Jodie LUU is a lecturer at the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC). She is passionate about harnessing the power of digital technologies to create an inclusive, interactive and learner-centred classroom. Having taught a flipped module and co-developed online courses for both the NUS community and global learners (edX), she is also interested in research on pedagogy for MOOCs and blended learning.

Jodie can be reached at


Kit Mun LEE is a lecturer at the Centre for English Language Communication. She has taught and coordinated various writing and communication modules, most of which have been designed for engineering and computing students in NUS. Her research interests include corpus linguistics, assessment and strategies for enhancing student engagement and learning.

Kit Mun can be reached at


Bass, R. (2018). The impact of technology on the future of human learning. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 50(3-4), 34-39.

Ennis, R. H. (2013). The nature of critical thinking: An outline of critical thinking dispositions and abilities.

Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: an integrated approach to designing college courses. USA: Wiley.

Freebody, P., & Luke, A. (1990). Literacies programs: debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL, 5(3), 7-16. Retrieved from

Hinrichsen, J., & Coombs, A. (2013). The five resources of critical digital literacy: A framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21, 1-16.

Pangrazio, L. (2016). Reconceptualising critical digital literacy. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(2), 163-174.

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