Digital Literacy for Kids

Empowering students to collaborate using digital tools

for critical thinking, creativity, and learning to be safe and resourceful online.

The 21st Century Literacy Project

Professor Garfield’s Problem Space

In its current iteration, the Professor Garfield website faces several problems. First, the website was constructed using Flash, which currently does not operate on mobile devices and some web browsers. More pressingly, the website lacks a unified vision, is cluttered with content and is not user friendly.

Professor Garfield’s Mission

Literacy is traditionally understood as the ability to read and write. However, in recent years, the dialogue about literacy education has evolved. In the information age, digital skills are central to being successful in our highly connected Internet society. Therefore, the notion of literacy has expanded to include the successful use of digital tools for meaning making and collaboration in online environments. Today, technology use in the classroom remains primitive. Most apps simply replicate the function of paper worksheets on a touch screen. This does not teach children to think critically or creatively when engaging with the technology. 

Professor Garfield is collaborating with the professors and students in the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development (EMDD) at Ball State University to support K-3 teachers and students in their digital literacy efforts. This project is ongoing, and you can visit this site for weekly updates about our progress.

In Spring 2017 the EMDD team led brainstorming sessions with educators and students to generate ideas for digital literacy instruction. After defining the project goals, prototypes were developed and additional user experience research was conducted with teachers. The ideas that received positive feedback are currently being developed for a new Professor Garfield website that will launch in Spring 2018.

A Resource Inspired by Educators

Professors and students from the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development at Ball State University are working with K-3 teachers and students across the country to develop digital literacy curricula and exercises that will work for you.

If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact:


Director, Center for Emerging Media Design & Development
Ball State University