Reimagining Professional Development for Digital Literacies: Old, New and Pandemic




During the COVID-19 pandemic teachers have been expected to learn new digital literacy skills, often applying them immediately. While professional development structures within school districts and professional associations are organized to offer supports, teachers may be challenged to gain digital skills within existing professional development models. Within our study, teachers explored technologies with the aim of rethinking frames for teaching and learning literacy. Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic they shared their experiences, insights and challenges. In our article, we address implications for digital literacy teaching and learning and the need for new ways of approaching teacher development.

Author Biographies

Suzanna Wong, University of Alberta

Suzanna So Har Wong is a former early childhood educator now working as an Adjunct Professor and Assistant Lecturer in Language and Literacy Education, at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on young children’s literacy practices at home and in school. Her current research project, A longitudinal study of children’s multiliteracy practices in ‘out-of-school’ settings focuses on children’s literacy engagements in- and out-of-school environments and examines children’s perspectives on these literacy practices. ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6473-9603

Linda Laidlaw, University of Alberta

Linda Laidlaw is a Professor working in the area of early literacy in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Alberta. Formerly a classroom teacher, her research focuses on digital and mobile technologies in primary education, diversity, and the relationships between children’s digital practices at home and their experiences at school. Her latest projects, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, working with teachers, parents and children, investigates new pedagogical frames and strategies for literacy education in a changing world. ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2017-4302

Yina Liu, University of Alberta

Yina Liu is a PhD student in Language and Literacy, at University of Alberta. She is interested in culturally and linguistically diverse children’s digital literacy at home in her doctoral research. She completed her MEd program in 2017, exploring how Canadian children’s literature could help newcomer children to transit better into Canada.




How to Cite

Wong, S., Laidlaw, L., & Liu, Y. (2021). Reimagining Professional Development for Digital Literacies: Old, New and Pandemic. Language and Literacy, 23(2), 49–60.