Historical Context of Digital Literacy (EDDL 5111 – 2.2)

From rocks and sticks used within family to the advent of the paper/printing press (1400s), to correspondence learning programs, to the advent of television/audio capability to share information and then the introduction of computers (1970s) to the massive digital/technological revolution that continues, contemplating the history of the development of digital literacy is important as I situate myself more firmly in the context and begin to think more critically about the personal and professional implications.  To consider where we’ve come from in quite a short time, and to contemplate the rapidly changing world and its impact on myself as a teacher, my children growing up with the technology and my students in a new world is exciting, important and relevant.  As early as this morning, I learned of a new term, “the dark web” reinforcing for me the importance of the learning path I am on – I know that direction I have taken in my field (to better understand, apply and use) is the right one for the times.  A  major challenge for all of us (as the new term I learned indicates) is the speed at which things are changing and having the ability/time to keep up with the advances – both in technical skills, hardware capability and knowledge of what is out there and how best to use it or protect oneself and others from it.

The shift from a print based to mobile based learning is impacts all of us.  The fact that I was able to sit at the wedding I just attended over the weekend and was able to blog post/check, and take stock of my assignments, while trying to be present and engaged is an example of the degree to which “learning” can take place in any context or time.  The degree to which learning theory is being examined by educators and considerately built in to what we are creating for our students is fascinating constantly evolving alongside better understanding and knowledge of how the brain works and what research shows is best practice for learning.  The concepts of the “flipped classroom” (form of blended learning), teacher as guide rather than holder of knowledge, students accessing information from anywhere in the world – distributed learning is changing institutional culture and transforming education in a positive way.  We’ve come a long way in a very short time.  So much has evolved, so fast.  I wonder what will be the effects of this “darker” side on all of us.

4 Comments on “The Dark Web” and Timeline for Distributed Learning

  1. Scott says:

    I really like your third last sentence Nic. We’ve come a long way no doubt. But have we as a profession come far enough? What is far enough really? In my classroom days – that sounds like a long time ago (a mere year past) I found a number of my colleagues who almost feared developing technology. The only thing they would use it for would be for product based activities (like typing an essay or plopping pictures into a powerpoint presentation). Are we (as a collective) afraid to let go of control – do we only unmask tech we are comfortable with or are well versed in? What is preventing us from allowing our learners to figure out a program on their own instead of guiding them step by step by spoon feeding them a product that we know inside out? Is there a fear of letting go of control? Is there a concern about saying “I don’t know how to do that?” If so, why? Our profession is immersed in a tech world, yet we seem reluctant for our learners to explore on their own. My two bits!!

    • Kerrie says:

      For me, there are a number of things that often hold me back from trying new approaches. One of the big ones is students’ ideas about what I should or should not be doing. I am always fearful that a student is going to make a complaint about me saying something like “She is not teaching us”. She just gives us the instructions and we have to do it all on our own. This has happened to me before, even when I clearly explain that students are to try a task on their own, get help from me if they need it, and then participate as well review the activity as a group later on. Another factor that often impacts my choices is time. Some students can take so long to do things on their own that we quickly get behind. Sometimes it is hard to know what is right. I’m struggling with this now as I move to a flipped classroom for my one of my courses. Are some students going to complain to administration that I am not teaching them? Other students may understand the approach and do what they are supposed to do, but the vocal ones will voice concerns and try to get others to join the bandwagon.

  2. Scott says:

    If you would like to get together to community build and collaborate, it might be best on Thursday when we are at the same venue. It may be easier than over the phone… I am easy, so anything that is best for you Nic!

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