Literacy is the ability to read and write. The inability to do so is called illiteracy or analphabetism. Visual literacy also includes the ability to understand visual forms of communication such as body language, pictures, maps, and video. Evolving definitions of literacy often include all the symbol systems relevant to a particular community. Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and number systems. These abilities vary in different social and cultural contexts according to need, demand and education.


This is a course created for the parents of children attending Blackburn Primary School in Lancashire, England.

(The name of this school has been made up to adhere to the confidentiality policy of Lancaster University)

The aim of this course is to create a 'community shared platform'. Parental interaction with other parents and myself as a Training teacher alongside a group of professional teachers on this course will allow parents to;

  • Understand Basic Literacy Skills,
  • How this taught in school,
  • and learn new methods of helping their children improve their Literacy Skills.

For this course, a navigations programme will be provided at the beginning, for parents, in order to help them understand how to work around this site. Nevertheless, basic computer and browsing skills would be required.

This course has been created for Blackburn Primary School only, where parents hold the ability to enrol as a new beginner at any time. I aim to foster a close connection for parents, however this may be open to expansion after an evaluation next year- Dependant on the success of this course. This site is still in its infancy, but is hoping to grow into one of the top destinations for Key Stage 2 Literacy ideas and resources for Parents to help their children with.

I am a teaching assistant, training to become a teacher. Alongside the help of a group of professional teachers who have kindly agreed to help coordinate this course, I aim to educate and aid parents of basic literacy skills which they could reinforce in their children for the important Key Stage 2 in Primary School. This is not an official school course, however, the interaction via Forums, chats and a closed Facebook group proposes to help parents contribute to different ways of working and discussing online, while gaining new digital skills online too.

Below is a leaflet which can be printed out to hand to the parents of pupils in Blackburn Primary School.

This is a discussion about the term digital literacy.  It is in part a short session from a group of Education Studies students but can be viewed, participated in and shared by anyone at  all.  

We have not added many files to begin with and hope these start to come from you as you search, discuss and collaborate.


Two scenarios of a scene with a sign in it, one sign says 'stop' and the other says 'yield'The notion of Crap Detection is something Professor Rheingold takes from Ernest Hemmingway and updates fo the 21st Century.  Basically, he asks us to consider more fully where, who and what is behind the information we retrieve online.  The skills we need for the 21st Century are, Professor Rheingold argues, fundamentally different to what we traditionally see as 'literacy'.  In this course we will make use of the Howard Rheingold materials but the goal is to create a forum for discussion about crap detection, what it means and what we can do to develop new literacy skills for the web based information age.