Educational Science

Structural-genetic conditions for digital literacy

The initial question to start my bachelor thesis »Structural-genetic conditions for digital literacy« was an obvious antagonism between two popular statements about the impact of »new media« on chances offered through »Bildung« (as there is no adequate translation for the German word »Bildung«, which implies and combines aspects of “learning”, “culture”, “education” “competencies” …) I will use it in German).

The most contrary common hypotheses are:

New Media permit better participation and better chances to learn, they enable to selforganized learning, reduce barriers, make it easy to become and stay informed. Briefly: They lead to equity and democracy


New Media help first and foremost those, who already have higher education, more money and advance in chances to achieve knowledge and information. They lead to an even greater knowledge-gap [1]., »a digital class-society« arises and whole cultures will be separated from knowledge and participation in a word-society.
During the next weeks, I will publish parts of my bachelor-thesis, specific hypotheses, analyses and questions which arouse from this thesis and enlarge them with – multidisciplinary – state-of-the-art studies and discussions.

I start with the index of contents, to provide an overview of the aspects treated:

1 Digital literarcy and global processes of development: How ambiguities can become potentials 1
2 From Alphabetization via Literacy to Digital Literacy 4
3 Processes of development within individuals and society I 7
3.1 Learning individuals: Ontogenesis und Psychogenesis 12
3.2 Thesis of Homology 19
3.3 Learning Societies: Sociogenesis and Phylogenesis 20
4 Web 2.0 and Social Media: new potentials, new barriers: ambiguity or chance? 24
4.1 Potentials of new media: Media for Bildung / Bildung for Media 24
4.2 Routine-blinded? Different stages of cultural development require different concepts 31
4.2.1 Global is relative 33
4.2.2 Development of digital literacy requires structural-genetic preconditions 39
5 Bildung as development assistance 42
5.1 Developing countries and digital literacy? Two incompatible worlds – or compatible models? 43
5.1.1 One »Education for all« but six goals? UNESCO’s EFA-program 46
5.1.2 Bildung for adults and its specific importance for structure-building processes 50
5.1.3 Bildung and ecology 53
5.2 The projects »One Laptop per Child« and »The Hole in the Wall«. 55
6 Digital literacy is neither guaranty nor concept for better chances in Education/Bildung – but new media can become important and effective tools for it 60
6.1 Identification, understanding and conquering of dualisms 63
6.2 Desideratum: from a stage of formal operation to a stage of digital network?. 66

[1]„The »Knowledge-Gap-Hypothesis« describes the gap between people of different socio-economical status. Following this hypothesis, the adoption of digital tools and media in labor and social environment results in enlarging the gap between development-countries and industrial nations, instead of closing it. (UNESCO 2008)


  • admin

    Dear Mr. Ordonez,

    thanks for interest in the work and participation here! As for the moment the B.A. Theses exists only in German language. But as I am going to reinforce this projekt (community of research 2.0) within the next months, I already plan to translate it step by step, to public it here in connetction with multidisciplinary findings, theories and modells.

    So for the moment I can just offer you a copy in German 🙁 …

    Thanks for the interesting link – I will try to understand by online translation or look for help as it sounds interesting as far as I can follow 🙂

    I would be glad if you are able to paricipate in the following discussions here – tell about your impressions, your experiences with the discussed problems, modells and theories.

    Have a nice day!

    Sabine Siemsen

  • Marrian

    Thanks for the information, that you’ve shared. That sounds extremely interessting – Did you ever thought about publishing it in a series of essays, or alike? I’d love to read it and add it to my ‘personal library'(which is growing – all books are on education)as a book or ebook.
    Some of my friends did so with GRIN, a German publisher located in Munich: http://
    I would appreciate to find your book there soon, too.
    All the best,

  • admin

    Dear Marrian,

    thanks for your feedback and excuse me for replying so late …
    I juast finished the first part of a serial (combination podcast and blogpost) to present my B.A. Thesis – it will be a series of essays, as you proposed. By now it is just available in German, but I work on the English translation, which will be published latest in march next year.
    Yes I know GRIN, but I am not sure, if I keep the rights to publish my work here, when published with Grin. But I will check about it next spring, when there is a little more time 🙂
    I wish you a happy New Year!

    All the best, Sabine!

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    They are really convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies.
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  • admin

    Dear Su, thanks for your feedback. I am sorry about not having continued this serie, but as I have it only in the German Version, I think it would not really fit into this sites version by now. I’d love and plan to translate it, but at the moment I do not find the time to do so beneath current work and research :-/ … If you are interested in the german version, send me a notice, please!
    Best, Sabine

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