Where next in research on ICT and literacies?

Richard Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that we have come to a crossroads in research in the relationship of information and communication technologies (ICT) and literacy development. To date, research and evaluation have tried to gauge the impact of ICT on literacy. Predictably, ICT had been found to produce positive effects, though often these are small and/or specific. A systematic review of research on the topic is cited and a distillation of its results presented. However, the question of impact seems to miss a more important point: that the relationship between ICT and literacy (or literacies) is symbiotic. Questions are asked in the paper about how best to research such symbiosis, and a number of case studies are cited as evidence that a modest, descriptive and analytical approach is, at present, best suited to research in the field at this time. Two further issues follow from the above reorientation: the first is that we need to give more consideration to an understanding of the power of the visual and its relation to the verbal code, as this issue is fundamental to reading and composing on-screen; and the second is that it is not so much the new technologies themselves as the communities they enable young people to create and establish that are important for thinking about literacy development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-41
Number of pages14
JournalEnglish in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • Information and communication technologies
  • literacy
  • visual
  • verbal
  • communities
  • research

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