Teaching in a Digital world: Promoting Digital Literacies (ELT)


Faced with a class full of millennials and generation Z students, it’s tempting to assume that everyone will be digitally aware. Often described as the ‘net generation’, we often assume that, as they appear to be permanently attached to a digital device, they are digitally literate. This, however, is far from being the case. The reality is often that even the brightest student is unsure of how to act, study and behave in the ever-increasing digital world. Now when world events have made education more reliant on technology than ever before we need to ensure our students are equipped to handle the demands that brings.

As language and subject teachers, we ignore digital literacy at our peril; after all, what has it got to do with being able speak English? The answer to that question is ‘more than you think’. Digital literacy encompasses skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and social engagement, all of which feature in the majority of school syllabi.

This course aims to help you identify your personal level of digital literacy before moving on to explore a digital literacy framework for education. On the way, we’ll look at how a world of fake news, algorithms and data has made critical thinking an essential skill for students to develop. Mixing theory with practice, this course will provide you with ideas, activities and tools to engage your students.

This course is part of the Oxford Teachers' Academy (OTA), a collaborative programme offering continuing professional development for English language teachers. The courses have been developed by the Department and Oxford University Press.

This OTA course has been specially designed for teachers whose students do not speak English as their first language, and is intended for secondary school teachers and teachers of adults.

Course Objectives:

During this course you will:

  • identify seven key digital literacies key in student learning
  • learn how to incorporate digital literacies into your teaching
  • build key skills to help students operate in a digital world
  • develop activities and tools for developing student literacy skills



Programme details

Course structure:

The summer course comprises an introductory session and five content modules delivered over a four-week period.

There will be live tutor-led interactive workshops each week, as well as a number of engaging asynchronous tasks that you complete in your own time.

The asynchronous part of your course will allow you and your fellow participants to extend the learning from the live sessions. Typically, this will include follow up quizzes, extra readings and materials. You will also benefit from opportunities to discuss aspects of each session with your peers in pairs and in small groups, allowing you to reflect on how you might tailor the content of each session to your own teaching context. 

We expect you to devote at least 5 hours each week to your course. Outside the scheduled live sessions, you can study at times that are most convenient for you.

We have capped class sizes at 25 students to maximise opportunities for interaction. 


During your weekly live workshops, you will be expected to participate actively in discussions and exchanges with your tutor and fellow participants. You will be encouraged to continue your discussions through additional online interaction throughout your course.

The first day of your course will begin with an introductory session to introduce you to the structure, expectations, and goals of an Oxford Teachers' Academy course. You then follow a series of five modules over four weeks. Each live session will last around 90 minutes. All times are UK time (UTC+1).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here: https://bit.ly/3bSPu6D

Introductory Session - Monday 28 June 1pm-2.30pm

Module 1: Building Digital Citizens - Monday 05 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • What is digital literacy?
  • How digitally literate are you?
  • What does digitally literacy mean for a student?

Module 2: Information Overload! - Thursday 08 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • How do we deal with all the information we have access to?
  • What can we do to teach our students to better search the internet?
  • How to digitally curate information

Module 3: Fake news – telling fact from fiction - Monday 12 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • How do we better student’s information literacy?
  • How can we teach our students to recognise fact from fiction?
  • What tools help us separate fact from fiction?

Module 4: Isn’t that educational use? Copyright and the classroom - Thursday 15 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • Isn’t everything online fair game? 
  • What are the rules of what you can and can’t use?
  • How can we stop our students copying and pasting?

Module 5: A digital toolkit - Thursday 22 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • Pulling it all together
  • Reflecting on the framework for digital literacy
  • Exploring a toolbox of apps and online tools we can use to help our students develop strong digital literacy skills


Oxford Teachers’ Academy courses are certified by the Department for Continuing Education. In order to receive a Certificate of Completion, course participants must submit an Evidence of Learning Journal  which will be evaluated against established criteria. If all criteria are met, participants will receive an electronic Certificate of Completion within six weeks of submitting their journals.

You will also receive a University of Oxford Certificate of Attendance on successful completion of each OTA online summer course.


Description Costs
Teaching in a Digital world: Promoting Digital Literacies £300.00


The Department is, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships or reduction in fees for the Oxford Teachers’ Academy online courses at present.


Shaun Wilden


Shaun Wilden is a teacher trainer, materials writer and teacher of English with more than 25 years of classroom experience. Having spent two decades teaching abroad, Shaun now lives in Oxford but continues to travel to give talks and workshops about the use of technology and language teaching. He has lectured and tutored on information technology on a number of programmes for international students and teachers for the Department. His book Into the Classroom: Mobile Learning was published by OUP in 2017.


Please click on 'Book Now' to reserve a place.

Subject to the availability of places, the closing date is Tuesday 22 June 2021.

Further course information notes will be emailed to participants shortly before the start of the summer school.

Any queries?

Please contact the Programme Administrator by email at ipota@conted.ox.ac.uk

Alternatively, you can read through some frequently asked questions here.

Level and demands

It is expected that participants will have experience of teaching English language.

This course is intended for secondary school teachers and teachers of adults.

All participants must speak English to a minimum of a high B2 CEFR level of proficiency.

IT requirements

This programme is delivered online. To participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.