Developing ehealth
capabilities for practice
in a rapidly changing
healthcare environment

Project Overview

In thinking about digital literacies beyond ICT skills, we engaged with Belshaw’s 2011 book, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies and his Ed.D thesis.

Belshaw describes eight elements of a digitally literate individual. The following is adapted from his work:

Cultural – acquired by immersing in different digital environments and being able to move seamlessly between digital environments. Belshaw describes this as the ability to understand digital contexts and cultures through different lenses.

Cognitive – acquired by exposure to different devices, software’s and platforms. Belshaw argues that learners must be exposed to a variety of approaches because sequential, step-by-step approaches do not work.

Constructive – acquired by understanding how existing resources can be reused, redeveloped and put together in new and interesting ways.

Communicative – acquired by understanding how people can communicate in different ways, using different digital approaches, and how effective communication relies on knowledge, understanding and application of ethics, norms and assumptions.

Confident – acquired by reflection on practices and one’s own use of digital technologies, personal learning environments and the networks needed to support skills and capabilities.

Creative – acquired by risk taking and doing new things in different ways. This element requires confidence in randomness and discovery. Making sense is at the core of creativity. Belshaw describes this as “joining the dots”.

Critical – acquired by understandings of the power and assumptions that underpin digital practices and tools.

Civic – acquired by using digital technologies to self-organise and connect locally and globally.

We would encourage you to engage with Belshaw’s material and think about how the different elements relate to your discipline.

Belshaw (2014) states that the eight elements are contextual. In our project we used our understanding of these elements to underpin our thinking about the context of healthcare.