Nicholas C. Burbules
Dr. Burbules is a Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership and an affiliate of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor Nicholas Burbules received a B.A. in religious studies from
Grinnell College in 1975, a M.A. in philosophy from Stanford University in
1979, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of education from Stanford University in
1983. He is a nationally preeminent scholar in the field of philosophy
of education and is internationally recognized for his work focusing on
the use of information technology in education. His current research
includes a project on ethical and policy issues concerning new
technologies in education; virtual reality; collaboration; and dialogue
and "third spaces."
Professor Burbules’ stature among his peers was recognized when he was
awarded the collegewide Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professorship from
2002-2007. During his professorship, he served on the editorial board,
edited, or acted as associate editor of several journals including the
Journal of Education Theory. During the same period, he also edited
three books, published 18 journal articles and book chapters, and
presented more than 40 lectures at professional conferences and institutions.
He also has been invited to give talks in 10 countries around
technology issues in education.
Digital Literacy in a Ubiquitous Learning
The American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology
Policy defines digital literacy as the ability to “find, understand,
evaluate, create, and communicate digital information.” It is useful to
think about, first, how these are interdependent skills and
dispositions: from an educational standpoint, how achieving some
necessarily entails developing others.
Second, it is useful to think about digital literacy in this sense in
relation to lifelong learning, and how lifelong learning itself might
need to be rethought in this new environment: I will discuss this as a
shift from “continuing education” to a process of “continuous
Finally, I will summarize these ideas in relation to the notion of
ubiquitous learning, an era of anytime/anywhere learning opportunities
that reflect the new ways in which people interact with digital
technologies. The processes of digital literacy, I will argue, need to
be rethought in this new context.