Digital Literacies, technology and media change over time…
In his Ted Talk David Belshaw believes we need to develop digital literacies in a more progressive way instead of a linear way. Moving away from the idea that we need to begin with basics and continue through to advanced skills. Belshaw also suggests that it is important that we use people’s interest to develop digital literacies. We can’t just throw them into something and expect them to figure it out. We need to focus on what he calls the “eight essential elements of digital literacies”.
Cultural –Cognitive – Constructive – Communicative – Confident – Creative – Critical –Civic
Professionalism in the Digital Environment’s Blog provides a good synopsis of Belshaw’s Digital literacies. I particularly like this blog entry because the author focuses on what the literacies mean to a student. The three literacies of that I feel I need to focus on are cognitive, communicative, and confident.I recognize that I need to work on the cognitive literacy as I need more experience in order to master the how to’s of different technologies platforms and devices. the communicative literacy has been the area that I’ve grown in the most in during this class. I used to only use Facebook and Twitter on a somewhat regular basis but I never focused on making connections and building a community. I didn’t think twice about the particular norms, values or protocols within each of those platforms until now. In the confident literacy I found that I shifted from being paranoid and worried about my digital footprint to taking charge and being responsible for my digital dossier. I want to create a positive footprint that shows who I am as a mother, a wife, a teacher and a human being. I still have a long way to go and still struggle with feeling confident when using Twitter but continue to move outside my comfort zone.
Doug Bledshaw also feels we need to encourage people to remix ideas and move beyond mere “consumption” to creativity. I have operated in the “consumption” stage for most of my life within the digital realm. While in th
is consumption stage I have always claimed to be a master multitasker and been very proud of it. The question that I now face is, with constant connectivity is it really multitasking or “fractured” attention?
I took a quick online test for fun that measures your ability to focus and filter distractions. Although my score indicates I am a high level multitasker, I must confess that it took everything that I had to force myself to concentrate and I even guessed at a few.
In his blog Why We Need to Teach Mindfulness in a Digital Age Aran Levasseur, a writer and teacher, states that “Students must also be mindful of how digital tools and perpetual web connectivity are shaping their brains, perceptions and habits.” The constant connectivity feeds the endorphins in the brain and when we “unplug” the brain craves the next “high”. The New York Times talks about this as the “dopamine” squirt. The constant dings of your device with text messages, email and updates alerts trigger it in your brain.(Sometimes panic if it is related to deadlines!)
So how do we teach our students about digital literacies and mindfulness? After all Levasseur has a point when he says that “ If schools hope to prepare students for our hyper-connected world, it reasons that training students to be proficient with digital tools is only part of the equation.”
Important note: I picked up my cell phone at least 30 times to look at updates, texts and social media while writing this blog.
See if you can keep track of how many times you reach for a device to trigger that “high” when doing something else?