Digital Literacy

3 Types of EdTech Baggage: Toolsets, Mindsets, Skillsets

Thursday, April 28, 2016 Comment sketch of man stuck under baggage saying "baggage? What baggage?"

Anyone with a background in technology integration will, of course, be familiar with the diffusion of innovation curve. This is a method to explain the way that different groups of people will react to new technologies. It’s useful, but tends to be used in a very two-dimensional way — as if people will always react in the same way to something new placed in front of them. In particular, I think using the diffusion of innovation curve in a simplistic way can leave out that the adoption and use of technologies has an affect on the

Online Literacy and the College Learner: Transfer Research and Technology

Monday, February 01, 2016 Comment Students sitting in front of rows of computers facing projector screen

Recently, I wrote a post for DML Central about an online course that’s receiving unusually high course evaluations and is being offered by the Culture, Art, and Technology program at UC San Diego. It’s a course in which online literacy is both the form and the content of the assigned curriculum. The instructor, Alexandra Sartor, took time out from teaching for an interview with DML Central to talk about her experiences, teaching the course. She laughed about the fact that her ultimate achievement was probably having “almost no comments about the form of the course.” Despite the digital focus

Learning The Terms of Digital Literacy

Monday, December 07, 2015 Comment screenshot of facebook twitter instagram privacy policy terms

Often when we talk about digital literacy, we are speaking about giving students the tools they need to be successful in a digitally-augmented world. In learning digital literacy, students also learn the social protocols, expectations, and risks that come along with engagement in digital devices, something I’ve written about many times before. Recently, I’ve been working closely with faculty members and asking them a simple question: “Have you read the ‘Terms of Service’ of any of the digital tools and platforms you are using?” More often than not, the answer has been, “no.” This is not

What’s ‘Value Added’ About Tech Tools in the Classroom?

Monday, June 22, 2015 Comment graphic of tree with leaves and branches that represent digital tools

I always cringe when educational pundits talk about evaluating teachers according to “value-added” assessment models, as if the value that teachers offer their students could be easily quantified or evaluated according to any standardized metric. Conversely, I am not averse at all to interrogating the value that digital tools bring to teaching and learning in classrooms; in fact, I think the connected learning community needs to speak up and encourage this conversation, considering the mad rush among many school districts to acquire technological resources without sufficient discussion about or planning for how these tools will enrich

Making Education as Machine-readable as Digital Data

Thursday, June 04, 2015 Comment tattered coiled ruler

Data have long been used to manage education. Data appear to make the messy complexity of schools and schooling more easy to understand, and help policymakers in their decision making. Now, with the rise of “big data” and associated data processing, mining and analytics software, a new style of digital education policymaking is making education increasingly machine-readable. In particular, education policy is now being influenced to a significant degree by the design of the devices through which educational data are collected, calculated, analysed, interpreted and visualized. As a result, schools and classrooms are being configured as

Parenting in a World of Social and Technological Transformation

Monday, May 25, 2015 Comment parents holding baby hand at the beach

As educators, policy makers and community activists look to build more equitable futures, a considerable amount of attention remains focused on families, especially parents. Families represent an important node in the learning ecologies of children and teens. When parents are able to connect their children to resources, material and immaterial, they provide substantive support in the pursuit of academic (i.e., higher grades) and non-academic (i.e., character building) outcomes. Moreover, when the home can serve as a rich and vibrant space for learning through inquiry, curiosity and play, the social and educational payoffs can be immeasurable. But,

Learning Pathways: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Thursday, January 29, 2015 Comment animation of black blots blobs connected by intricate web of lines pathways

A few months ago, in a post entitled Scaffolding Web Literacy Through Learning Pathways, I differentiated between training pathways (“a series of steps that lead to the individual being able to reproduce knowledge or action”) and learning pathways (“experiences lead[ing] to the re-shaping of… future behaviour”). Descriptive/Prescriptive In this post, I want to dive deeper into learning pathways, dividing these types of pathways into broadly two groups. There are those kinds of pathways that are descriptive and those that are prescriptive. Neither of these labels is pejorative, as each could be appropriate given a particular context. This way of looking at learning

A Brief History of Web Literacy and its Future Potential

Monday, December 01, 2014 Comment WWW mural of the world this is for everyone tim berners-lee quote

“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.” — George Orwell Part of history is telling stories. It’s about privileging some type of information over others, forming a narrative that helps us make sense of the world. These overviews are important, as they help us orient ourselves toward the future — in ways that reinforce or question what has gone before. We’re constantly reinterpreting the past to make sense of the present. New technologies and revelations can change the way we view those things we think we knew.

Scaffolding Web Literacy Through Learning Pathways

Thursday, August 28, 2014 Comment footprints through the sand on rocky beach

Learning is messy. It starts. It stops. It’s prismatic and elusive. Learners make progress, regress and then make giant leaps forward in understanding and ability. Some concepts and skills come quickly and easily, while others are hard-won. Learning, in other words — while fundamental to what it means to be human — remains somewhat of an enigma. Since leaving the confines of formal education, I’ve found just how messy learning can be. I’ve found that for most people it’s an intensely personal journey, something that not only is important for employment and contribution to society, but for self-actualization and human flourishing. Sometimes, but not

Study Proves Why We Need Digital Literacy Education

Thursday, August 14, 2014 Comment teacher giving classroom lesson to male students with computers showing digital literacy in classroom

A few months ago, the Internet buzzed with the results of a study comparing students’ note-taking on computers versus note-taking with paper and pen. In the article, authors Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer shared the results of three experiments comparing these two note-taking conditions, and their conclusion was signaled in the title: “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard.” Following the authors’ lead, most media reports treated these results as proof that using laptops for note-taking — or, some argued, any classroom use — was detrimental to learning. However, I think the results point