International Literacy Day

This year, the theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy in a Digital World.” This topic resonates deeply with Turnitin. The ever-changing digital landscape prompts us to constantly reflect on how advances in technology affect writing instruction, attribution, and academic integrity.

Today, in honor of International Literacy Day, we offer a few simple strategies to help you and your students maintain integrity as you navigate writing, citing, and collaborating in this increasingly digital world.

 1. First Drafts ≠ Final Submissions

As social media use pervades everyday routines, it’s easy to get in the habit of publishing a thought the moment it comes to mind. From tweets to essays, the instantly gratifying feeling of pushing “send” cannot be denied. However, at Turnitin, we encourage you to see all forms of writing, even that Instagram caption, as a process. The writing that you share online becomes a part of your digital identity and should be treated with care. Think before you post and consider the audiences—friends, colleagues, teachers, employers—who may interact with your writing in the present and the future.

2. Give Credit, Be Creative

In the digital world, content is constantly being created, “remixed,” and published. When confronted with this onslaught of information, some of which you may want to share on your own channels, how do you ensure that this content (of uncertain origin) is properly referenced? Follow standard citation conventions, even if the content is from a post on social media. Looking to protect your own online content? Creative Commons provides free copyright licenses and guidelines for attribution.  

3. Collaborate with Intention and Integrity

Digital literacy also requires the ability to work collaboratively in an online environment. So, how do you protect your digital identity, prevent plagiarism, all while participating in co-creation? Before writing begins, make sure that all contributors have a joint understanding of how authorship will be shared and documented. For students learning how to write individually and with their peers, platforms such as Turnitin Feedback Studio’s and Google Docs facilitate collaboration in a setting that educators can easily oversee.