The first time the term "digital literacies" appeared in print on he title of an English language book available at Amazon.com was in December of 2007 when Allan Martin and Dan Madigan's collection of essays entitled Digital Literacies for Learning (2006) was published. Many experts, but not all, prefer the concept of digital literacies in the plural because of the diversity of different topics that really fall under the digital literacy umbrella.
It also stands to reason, that the more broad definition of digital literacy as an all encompassing digital literacies allows for a more expansive view of how to incorporate these various literacies into our educational, personal and business systems. The greater the definition, the greater becomes our ability to include emerging technologies that undeniably fall under the digital literacy umbrella. The recently released Apple iPad being a current example. This piece of technology did not exist a year ago from this writing, and yet the iPad's potential to revolutionize education is enormous.
As A.Martin published in 2006, digital literacy can be seen as "a framework for integrating various other literacies and skill-sets" without "the need to encompass them all" or to serve as "one literacy to rule them all".
Let us look at just a few of the literacy pieces that fall under the broader definition of digital literacy.
Internet Literacy is primarily agreed by experts to be functional skill as it relates to using the internet, but does not go so far as to include building web pages.
Information literacy is about becoming information savvy. An information literate is a person who can recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information.
Digital Media is an ever changing group of materials and techniques used by a society to produce a work. "If you want to use television to teach somebody, you must first teach them how to use television." (Umberto Eco, 1979)
Technological literacy is the ability to use, manage and understand technology which is becoming more of a challenge as our technology changes at lightening speed.