I did a presentation for an online session on digital literacy hosted by Josie Fraser last Friday. Here is my slidecast:
It was well attended with some of my favourite online people and we had some good discussion.
A few things occurred to me:
i) We forget the literacies we wear in life – it's a broad term, and we all come to it with different sets of skills and concerns. If you're interested in schools, then digital literacy has a whole different set of connotations and issues than for higher education. It is debatable even whether lumping all of these groups together is useful.
ii) It is the best of terms, it is the worst of terms – we debated back and forth about the term, and whether we should even debate the term, whether it should be literacy or literacies, etc. In general there was consensus that a) we shouldn't get bogged down too much in terminology, b) as the term is out there we may as well stick with it, c) there are issues with it.
iii) There is a literacy of the head and a literacy of the heart – conventional literacy is reasonably well defined, and while it is not an either/or, we can at least set some definite targets. Should digital literacy be specific or aimed at more general skills? For example, is it a checklist of technology mastery eg have captured and uploaded video to video sharing site, or more general skills eg using appropriate technology to communicate effectively.
I have some reservations (see my post about being a spoilsport) that whenever we cast our bespectacled academic eye over such a subject we over-analyse it. The result is then something which can be implemented but has had much of the initial spirit that made it attractive removed from it, in the process of pinning down exactly what we mean. This is a dilemma we will need to work around carefully. Don't get me wrong, it may seem that I don't carry in my countenance a letter of recommendation, I really think it is an important debate and task. Just want to make sure it's not a tedious checklist and instead is a joyous explosion of creativity (and flowers no doubt).
(Apologies for extended, laboured Dickens theme, no real message from it, just playing).