Digital literacies: preparing pupils and students for their information journey in the twenty-first century

Poppy Frances Gibson (Department of Teacher Education, University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Sarah Smith (Department of Teacher Education, University of Greenwich, London, UK)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Publication date: 12 November 2018



In a fast-moving world where technology has become intertwined with our daily lives, meaning information is available at our fingertips, information overload (Khabsa and Giles, 2014) is just one of many challenges that this technological overhaul has presented for learners from the primary classroom up to studies within higher education (HE). This paper aims to present skills needed by both pupils and students to navigate their information journey, and discusses how educators can support the acquisition and development of these skills.


Drawing on key literature in the fields of education and academia through the process of systematic review and adopting the analogy of a journey to represent lifelong learning, this bipartite paper explores how both primary school pupils and university students are required to access information in their very own information journeys in this “Information Age”.


The similarities and differences between child and adult learners are considered. This paper shares practical strategies for promoting the smarter use of information – and a shorter journey – for these “travelers” along the way. This paper essentially aims to raise questions in the minds of educators as they help to prepare their learners to learn.


This paper offers an interesting insight for teachers and lecturers as the crossover between two sets of learners, primary-age pupils and students in HE, is considered in terms of how we, as educators, can help to provide more effective and efficient information journeys, and therefore promote successful learning. A five-stage model is presented for the information journey.



Gibson, P. and Smith, S. (2018), "Digital literacies: preparing pupils and students for their information journey in the twenty-first century", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 119 No. 12, pp. 733-742.

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