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Social and technological change has led to a need for fresh research perspectives on global literacy standards, the prevalence of digital media in daily life, and the debate around the development of a digital culture.

Our researchers are critically investigating these areas of growth and change, and exploring how advancements in technology and literacy practice impacts lives around the world.

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Research leaders
Research team
Organisational unit
Lead unit Faculty of Education Other units
literacies , culture, digital media, LCDM, society and technology, social disadvantage, use of digital media, children and young people


For more information, contact Dr Kelli McGraw or Dr Linda Knight.



Real-world context

Key trends

Rapid social and technological changes in a culturally and linguistically diverse world are already upon us. Key trends which LCDM responds to, engages with and researches into include:

  • reregulation of literacy standards by governments
  • debates about what counts as 'literacy'
  • impact upon the work of teachers and universities
  • barriers to accessing literacies for societal participation
  • claims of universal standards of literacy intersecting with forms of social disadvantage.

Grand challenges

Our research is addressing large-scale issues and research questions:

  • envisaging innovative and broadened understandings of the constitution of literacies and semiotics
  • seeking creative solutions to new challenges for education that are encountered in digital lives and societies
  • transforming and empowering lives through literacy practices that uncover the ideological nature of language for those who are marginalised in society.

Our research strategy


The 21st century has ushered in dramatic changes, potentials and even moral panic in relation to children and young people's use of digital media. Our research is designed to drive changes in the real world, including:

  • critically rethinking digital cultures, digital media and the web in daily life, curriculum, policy, and practice
  • leading public dialogue on key worldwide literacy debates across all levels of education, including pre-service teacher literacies
  • broadening and deepening substantive knowledge of the vital literacy practices to sustain culturally and linguistically diverse orientations.

Research areas of focus

To achieve significant impacts, our research focuses on:

  • current trends: preparing children, youth and adults for advanced communication skills in contexts of local diversity and global connectedness
  • implications of trends: mapping the ideological nature of literacy discourses and practices in schools and in society and their effects
  • the multimodal: generating notions of language to take account of the full role of the senses and the body in meaning making, and cultural differences in ways of communicating
  • the unpredictable: developing knowledge of digital literacies in a world in which we can't predict the technologies and social changes of tomorrow.