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About

The Institute for Research on Digital Literacies (IRDL) has a broad interdisciplinary mandate to engage and facilitate discussion, information sharing, systematic inquiry, and pedagogic innovation related to digital technologies, digital media, and digital cultures as sites of formal and informal pedagogy and learning. Our goal is to respond quickly to changes in technology, media, and culture, and to promote research, scholarship, and pedagogic innovation in a digital age.

Mission

The role of York University’s Institute for Research on Digital Literacies (IRDL) exists in dialogue with our ever-evolving digital cultures. For over thirty years, IRDL has worked to foster research on digital cultures, to encourage interdisciplinary conversations, and to communicate the results of our research to the wider community the university serves. At IRDL, we see digital literacies research as exploring the diverse and evolving uses and implications of media and technology in formal and informal learning environments, in diverse global digital cultures, and across the generations. 

In a rapidly changing world, IRDL supports innovative and inclusive research on digital spaces that helps us understand who we are as twenty-first century, educators and learners, citizens and consumers, creators and users, local community members and global actors.

Membership

We provide members with opportunities to connect and engage in conversation with their fellow scholars in an environment that encourages interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration.

The institute also welcomes a variety of postdoctoral fellows, external guest speakers, and York University faculty members who use the institute’s resources to help amplify their research on digital cultures and literacies. These projects include such diverse topics as young peoples’ creative labour, innovative digital pedagogies, technology and privacy issues, social justice in digital cultures and spaces, and teaching with online games.

History

Created at York University in 1987 within the Faculty of Education as the Centre for the Study of Computers in Education, IRDL has a long history of supporting groundbreaking research on digital technology, education, and culture. The institute became a university-based research unit in June 2001 and was renamed the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies (IRLT). In 2014, the institute was reconceptualized as the Institute for Research on Digital Learning (IRDL). This phase saw an increased emphasis on pedagogy, games as learning tools, and social justice in response to rapidly changing technologies and social media. Then, in the fall of 2020, the institute became the Institute for Research on Digital Literacies (IRDL) with the support of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, with an expanded mandate to support interdisciplinary research on digital cultures and literacies.

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