Digital Literacy Attitudes of Korean Elementary Students

Submitted by: Eun ha Oh
Abstract: *Digital literacy, *affective aspects, *literacy attitude, *elementary student

Background and purpose: Changes in the literacy environment following recent digital and technological developments have prompted researchers to explore a new aspect of literacy, namely digital literacy. Although more research has been conducted on the cognitive aspects of digital literacy, there has been limited research on affective aspects of literacy. The purpose of this study was to explore implication for digital literacy research and education by analyzing Korean elementary students’ digital literacy attitudes (hereafter, DLA). This study is a follow-up to the theoretical exploration of a concept of digital literacy attitude and the development of a self-report instrument for assessing children’s digital literacy attitudes. A concept of digital literacy attitude was proposed as an individual’s psychological tendency practice in the digitalized environment. The DLA instrument consists of 33 items from five dimensions of the constructs of digital literacy attitude: value (7 items), self-efficacy (7 items), emotion (7 items), participation (7 items), and self-regulation (5 items).

Method: Considering the difficulties of first- and second-grade students in participating in the self-report DLA instrument, approximately 10,000 third- to sixth-grade elementary students in Korea were chosen as research participants. The large-scale survey data on the DLA instrument collected from a representative sample of third- to sixth-grade elementary students in Korea.

Results: With regard to grade, the DLA scores of the respondents increased in a statistically significant manner as they get older. In addition, a statistically meaningful difference was found depending on area. The DLA scores of the students in metropolitan and mid-sized areas showed higher scores as compared to students in rural areas. However, no statistically meaningful difference between the DLA scores of male and female students. The results of this study are noteworthy because the digital literacy attitude patterns of Korean elementary students may challenge common assumptions about students’ attitudes toward literacy practices, especially students’ attitudes toward print-based literacy practices. The implications for literacy education and the direction of further research were discussed.

Kim, J., Kim, J., Seo, S., & Ok, H. (2015). Exploring the direction for assessment tool development on affective domains of digital literacy. Korean Language Education Research, 50(2), 206-230.
Kim, J., Seo, S., & Ok, H. (2015). Toward a theoretical exploration of a concept of digital literacy attitude. The Education of Korean Language, 150, 263-294
Ok, H., Cho, B., Kim, J. Kim H., Koh, G., Oh, E., & Seo, S. (2016). A study of developing and validating an assessment of digital literacy attitudes. The Education of Korean Language, 152, 251-283.