Old Girl and Digital Literacy Project Team up!

Nicola Sibthorpe, Class of 2012 (I think) has teamed up this summer with the Digital Literacy Project at the Atwater Library to offer the following workshops for free:


If you know of a student who you think would be interested in this, please pass it on!

The 8 Key Elements Of Digital Literacy – Edudemic

An interesting look at Digital literacy and the way we teach it. Doug Belshaw argues that teaching digital literacy should not be sequential but progressive:

“[It is not digital literacy] but digital literacies. They are plural, they are context dependent and they need to be socially negotiated…Digital literacy is always in flux..it is a lifelong project we all have to be involved in…”Doug Belshaw-ted talk

I would tend to agree- the best way to teach digital literacies is through a one on one correspondence with the curriculum- make it mean something with the ultimate goal of taking the information and making something new (either opinion piece, essay, project, etc).

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Many teachers have added ‘digital literacy’ as number four on the list of literacies their students should have (or be working towards, in most cases). Reading, writing, and math are now followed by digital literacy. Obviously, depending on the grade level  you teach, your students will have different abilities in each of the four areas, …

See on www.edudemic.com

How Digital Learning Is Becoming The Fourth Literacy – Edudemic

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Reading. Writing. Math. Those are the big ones, right? Up until recently, a lot of people would have probably said that was correct. But since it is 2013 and so much of our lives happen online, digital literacy is being added to the list.

Lina Gordaneer‘s insight:

Just another great infographic to hammer home the point that we really really need to get our coding club off the ground….

Also the question of whether digital literacy is the 4th literacy is interesting. What do you think? My first thought is yes- as it encompasses navigating a digital world (accessing, curating information and then hopefully creating somethine new with it). But perhaps all the literacies overlap or at least jigsaw together? Can one survive without the other?

See on www.edudemic.com

Learnflow? A thoughtful article musing on the journey to fluency

Via Langwitches

Just came across this thoughtful exploration of the process by which we learn a new skill:

I have been intrigued with the relationship of being skilled, literate and fluent in the Digital World for a while. We are focusing at school to look through the lens of fluency using technology as tools (e.g. using the iPad as the device and apps as the tool to achieve fluency), not as the end. I am wondering if the word “fluency” in the digital world, sparks the same thoughts or activates the background definition in other educators? I have heard others in the edubloggersphere use the word “workflow” instead of “fluency”.

Workflow is defined by Wikipedia as:

The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

The world “workflow” c-o-u-l-d work, but still does not sound right. What about a LEARNflow? The goal in education is for our students to learn, to become life long learners and do do so unconsciously, smoothly and [as] effortlessly [as possible]… I am still mulling over the semantics here… Your input is appreciated… Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

The main point is that our end goal is not simply literacy but fluency. She also has a pretty darn fancy slideshow to go with this:

Check it out!

Digital Literacy: The New Digital Divide

Wordle by Mark Pullen via Angela Maiers

Wordle by Mark Pullen via Angela Maiers

I just read this extremely thought-provoking blog post about an emerging digital divide within our own communities. Although they are talking about the Academic Graduate world, the experience is very close to what we live in our own school. There are some teachers who are so tech savvy they can code their own pages (Mr. Math teach, I’m talking to you). Others, like me,   are proficient enough to navigate the online world, but know only a few lines of code and would have to do some major figuring out before being able to create a website (though I have enough confidence in my ability with tech, if not the inclination, to feel like I could figure out the basics), to those who are very good at their job but who resent having to email, let alone collaborate on a google doc:

But there are various shades of complexity before we even get to that divide between those who “build” and those who don’t. New digital divides created by the great diversity of digital skill sets amongst most arts and humanities scholars. The recent popularity of the digital humanities (or rather, of the term “digital humanities”) has meant that many propose that in the near future everyone in the humanities will be a digital humanist, and that the adjective “digital’ will have to be dropped soon. It is more and more common to see job adverts seeking scholars with PhDs in very specialised arts and humanities themes who can also code (for example, PhP, Python, whatever). In general, these are skills that are not formally included in most postgraduate humanities degrees. As an educated guess one might be able to generalise that many if not most humanities scholars who possess some level of coding skills often acquired them through alternative methods, taught themselves or have backgrounds in disciplines that until very recently were not part of the humanities curricula.

The job descriptions out there seem to tell a different story. It is as if suddenly, in some section of the academic world, we were witnessing the rise of a super-humanist, who is not only an expert in Aramean manuscripts but can also develop XML schemas, tweak APIs, design WordPress templates, who is a master of custom CSS design for ebooks and blogs, tweets, curates data sets and visualises online networks and quantifies her open access journal articles webometrics and altmetrics. This prototype scholar seems to be some kind of mutant 21stcentury super-powered being who simultaneously designs and maintains algorithmic architectures and deconstructs the history of literary theory and textual scholarship by heart.

It never occurred to me to think of the  the digital divide between creators (those who can build a website using a coding language, e.g.. PhP) and consumers (those who use the interface but never look behind the curtain to see how it works.
It makes me wonder about our current definitions of digital literacy, most of which confine themselves to navigation and use. Is it time we start thinking about teaching our students code? Will this be an essential skill in the future?
Food for thought.
Note on academics who teach themselves code: I have a good friend who has a degree in linguistics who taught herself code and now works as a taxonomist and web designer. In fact, her story is not unique- I just met another linguist turned coder the other day. They were both self-taught and both make the parallel between spoken languages and coding language.