Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Zhang, Zuochen


21st century education, digital literacy, e-learning, e-literacy, ICT, responsible use of technology



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Technological ubiquity in 21st century Canadian society calls for responsible use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). This thesis presents e-literacy theory, developed from a review of international benchmarks to address domains of capability, critical literacy, citizenry, and safety, to confront this need for K-12 education and teacher preparation. This study examines a selection of Ontario’s K-12 curricula and lived experiences of teacher candidates from a teacher education institution in Ontario. Eighty-four teacher candidates participated in an online survey questionnaire and eight participated in focus group discussions to help provide critical understanding of the current climate of e-literacy in teacher education. Findings indicated both Ontario’s K-12 curricula and the target institution are lagging behind international benchmarks of e-literacy. With the goal of reform across three interdependent levels, this thesis presents the trident approach, specifically focusing on integrating e-literacy into 21st century learning through teacher candidates who will become the next generation of educators in K-12 classrooms.