Just Google it! Digital literacy and the epistemology of ignorance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
722 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we examine digital literacy and explicate how it relates to the philosophical study of ignorance. Using data from a study which explores the knowledge producing work of undergraduate students as they wrote course assignments, we argue that a social practice approach to digital literacy can help explain how epistemologies of ignorance may be sustained. If students are restricted in what they can know because they are unaware of exogenous actors (e.g. algorithms), and how they guide choices and shape experiences online, then a key issue with which theorists of digital literacy should contend is how to educate students to be critically aware of how power operates in online spaces. The challenge for Higher Education is twofold: to understand how particular forms of digital literacy practices pave the way for the construction of ignorance, and to develop approaches to counter it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-317
Number of pages16
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2019


  • digital literacy
  • philosophy of ignorance
  • epistemology
  • higher education
  • writing


Dive into the research topics of 'Just Google it! Digital literacy and the epistemology of ignorance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this