Digital Literacy

Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 2

Monday, May 21, 2018 Comment screenshot from student class assignment video

“Our stories that we tell are so powerful because when we are the one’s telling it, we have control over our stories and the messages that we are sending.” — Alejandra Ramirez Bermudez I am regularly in awe at the goodwill our students extend faculty, myself included, as they attempt to make sense of and successfully complete our idiosyncratic assignments. Too often, students hear faculty respond to any confusion students might have by telling them to “read the syllabus” or “read the assignment,” as if none of the faculty have ever tried to put together an


Rethinking Black Digital Literacy, Part 1

Monday, April 09, 2018 Comment IBM computer

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a three-part post featuring the fourth interview in a multi-part series with participants in the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities Conference. The series features public intellectuals discussing digital literacy issues. Jessica Marie Johnson is one of the country’s leading scholars on black code literacy. I’ve had the privilege of teaching with her at the Digital Humanities Summer Research Institute. At the conference my campus organized, she recently gave a thought-provoking and inspiring keynote address. Professor Johnson’s own digital literacy story started early: “I have what feels now like


Watchworthy Wednesday: Google Scientist Tells How Tech Affects Learning

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Comment Daniel Russell speaking at UCI

When his daughter was studying linguistics, Daniel M. Russell observed her reading a book on Turkish grammar while connected to her earbuds, listening to Turkish news on an online app. “She was multiple coding,” he explained Tuesday to a group of UC Irvine computer scientists. Russell, a senior research scientist at Google, said that as technology rapidly changes, “it’s tied to our ways of thinking. It affects us in the way we think, the way we frame and the way we reason. And, how we learn is highly dependent upon the technology we bring into the


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