ASSESSMENT ITEM 3 – BLOG POST

 

Trends in technology developments

You just have to search Google to see everything that is wrong within schools today – technology. There are countless articles such as this one, written by Porter in 2013 for the Washington Post which claims that technology is to blame for everything that is wrong with today’s youth; short attention spans, inability to communicate face to face, and a general lack of willingness to think – for why think when the answer is just a click away. As an educator, I believe that by taking this stance in the war on technology, the war on youth as they interact with the world around them as seen within Porter’s (2013) article, is in fact exactly what is wrong within schools today, not the other way around.

Education is no longer a fixed entity where you go to school, to university, and then into a job where you have already learnt everything you will ever need to know. Education in today’s society is on-going (Connected Learning Alliance, 2012). Our job as educators is now, to ensure our students are strong in areas such as digital literacy, a concept that itself is growing and changing. In the 90’s, to be digitally literate meant that one could comprehend information presented via hypertext and multimedia of the time (Bawden, 2008, p. 18). Today, to be digitally literate means much more; today, it is a way of thinking. We in Australia have access to all the information we could possibly need. We need to teach our students how to harness this ability and to utilise it to its fullest potential; we need to teach them the skills to interpret the validity and relevance in the sea of information – if we don’t, they will drown in it (Bawden, 2008, as cited in Lindsay, 2019). To ensure our students have a strong sense of digital literacy today, educators should focus on Bawden’s (2008) elements of digital literacy:

  1. Underpinnings – whereby students should have solid literacy skills and an understanding of ICTs
  2. Background knowledge – they should know how to use information sources
  3. Central competencies – to be able to valuably interpret and produce information
  4. Attitudes and perspectives – the skills to morally utilise information, and the understanding of how to use ICTs appropriately.

It is not fair to assume that students have these skills, despite their ever-growing presence online. We must implement these elements into our daily practice, otherwise our kids are not going to be equipped to deal with the 21st century work-force. There is no escaping technology. It is going to keep growing and becoming more important in our society. As Dyson (2012, as cited in Lindsay, 2019) states, “teletotal was the personal computer; minitotal is the iPhone; neurototal will be next”. We cannot predict what will happen in the future; the path of technological advancements is not a linear one. As 21st century educators, it should be our upmost concern to ensure that our students are ready and able to cope with whatever social change approaches them in the future, as this will inevitably change how they interact with their world (HarvardEducation, 2009).

 

via GIPHY

Reference List

Bawden, D. (2008). Chapter one: Origins and concepts of digital literacy. In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (Ed’s.), Digital literacies: concepts, policies & practices (pp. 17–32). New York: Peter Lang.

Connected Learning Alliance. (2012). The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiGabUBQEnM&feature=youtu.be

GIFY (2015). Technology Time Magazine [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://giphy.com/gifs/technology-time-magazine-never-offline-26tOY3KjQUL9YhRT2

HarvardEducation (2009). Technology and Youth: Five Competencies (part 3 of 4) [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqt3ZmtBTOE&feature=youtu.be

Lindsay, J. (2019). Global Connectedness. INF530: Topic 1.4 [Course content]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/displayLearningUnit?course_id=_39500_1&content_id=_2653078_1

Lindsay, J. (2019). Digital Literacy. INF530: Topic 1.5 [Course content]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/displayLearningUnit?course_id=_39500_1&content_id=_2653079_1

Porter, A. (2013). The Problem With Technology in Schools. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/the-problem-with-technology-in-schools/2013/01/28/cf13dc6c-6963-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_blog.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9c12b9c86292

Word Count: 495

3 comments on “ASSESSMENT ITEM 3 – BLOG POSTAdd yours →

  1. Emily thanks for posting, I really enjoyed reading this.

    Recently, I read the text ‘Teaching for Quality Learning at University’, Fourth edition by John Biggs and Catherine Tang. Whilst Biggs and Tang discuss very similar themes to those which you’ve mentioned theirs is not a purely ed-tech discussion.

    For me, their citing of works by educational psychologists which outline the modern-day attention span of 10 minutes not only adds weight to your arguments but should also change the way we teach. The two-hour traditional university lecture should be dead and buried, making way for more engaging pedagogies.

    Time and again throughout #INF530 I’ve been amazed at the similarity of environments between schools and higher education. Many students entering higher education are ill-equipped with critical thinking and digital literacy skills. Sure the digital native knows how to check their social media account and view videos online but can they critically analyse sources of information through some form of the C.R.A.P. test. I think your blog post highlights a number of the issues around the current hyperbole in the ed-tech discussion.

    One of the other ed-tech issues I recently came across is the social justice, equity and democratization of education debate. The work of Neil Selwyn in ‘Is Technology Good for Education?’ is spectacular in highlighting how the issues you’ve written about are also intricately entwined with the above. This work also adds weight to your writings on the skills of students in the online world particularly those from marginalized backgrounds.

    Thanks again for posting this, really thought-provoking.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  2. Good work Emily – some thoughtfully chosen resources and personal comments based on your readings.

  3. Hi Emily, thanks for your post. I would like to reflect on your discussion of digital literacy.

    In my view, digital literacy encompasses information literacy. There is a focus on locating, evaluating, and using information from digital platforms. Digital literacy is particularly important in the information environment we live in; locating information which meets the user’s need and evaluating it for accuracy and relevance are integral 21st Century Skills.

    There are links between digital literacy, information behaviour, 21st Century skills and lifelong learning. Bawden and Robinson’s (2012) discussion of cognitive models of information behaviour and information search processes highlights the differences in how people go about finding information. With my TL hat on I see information search models (guided inquiry, project-based learning) as a platform for integrating the teaching of digital literacy skills. The development of digital literacy skills in students is dependent on the opportunities to learn and practice. These are skills which need to become second nature to students.

    Your discussion of teaching skills to interpret information has strong connections to the readings from module 3.1. It brought to mind Brabazon’s (2009) discussion about what digital natives thought they should be learning. One respondent mentioned several times we should be teaching them how to learn (p.177, 180). Conole (2012) agrees with this sentiment stating, ‘learners need to develop strategies for finding and validating appropriate resources’ (p.55).

    In my opinion, the focus of the Australian Curriculum should be the General Capabilities. They are the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (n.d.) take on 21st Century learning skills and provide a checklist for students to show application and understanding of skills relevant to their futures. Digital and Information literacy fit into Critical and Creative Thinking and ICT Capability. As such, integration of the General Capabilities into teaching and learning covers elements of digital literacy and information literacy and assists in the development of lifelong learning skills.

    Although students of today may have more screen time and access to more technologies than students used to, it is not right to assume they have the knowledge and skills to effectively and efficiently traverse the information landscape to achieve their goals. Conole (2012) states that ‘many learners, despite being competent technology users, lack the appropriate academic literacy skills to appropriate these free resources for their learning’ (p.52). Brabazon (2009) and Conole (2012) highlight that effective use of digital tools and resources relies upon development of skills in teachers and students (p.181 & p.51).

    Schools with trained TLs have resources available to them to assist with skill development of both teacher and student. When classroom teachers work collaboratively with TLs, a range of opportunities for the teaching and application of digital and information literacy skills arise. Through inquiry learning students can develop these skills in context, and hopefully see the connections to future tasks.

    References
    Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/

    Bawden, D. & Robinson, L. (2012). Introduction to information science [London: Facet]. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=2076216

    Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google generation will not speak: The Invention of digital natives. Nebula, 6(1), p.163-180. Retrieved from http://www.nobleworld.biz/images/BDGP.pdf

    Conole, G. (2012). Designing for learning in an open world (Vol. 4) [Springer]. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=1030803

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