I am not a fan of Doug Belshaw’s book The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies
The book is failing to deliver a deeper understanding of the elements of digital literacy. The basic statement from the author is along the line of define digital literacy how you need to based on the situation you are in. This type of approach leads to more ambiguity in the area of educators relating to digital literacy. I asked 7 educators to define digital literacy and the results were all over the board. From knowing how to turn on the computer and use a mouse, to understanding functions such as drag and drop , to knowing how to use digital tools to expand ability. How can we discuss the need for digital literacy in schools if we do not have a preset rule of what it is actually addressing. I hope the remaining chapters have more details and go deeper into the problem.
Essential Elements of Digital Literacy
No Digital Facelift
The lecture No Digital Facelift is over 6 years old but contains a lot of relevant thoughts impacting digital instruction today. The basic concept of applying a facelift or transforming education is the question thought leaders are still discussing.
Some key ideas that resonated with me
“programed for discovery rather than instruction”
What would the education system look like if the focus was discovery rather than instruction. Students in charge of their educational path with the educator as a coach rather than the divine being responsible for instruction. He speaks to the “historical conditioning” of industry specifically the newspaper industry but could the same not be said of the education industry? I contend we are historically conditioned to education being a passive endeavor with the instructor in control instead of the learner. With technology, could we shift that dynamic? Could we move to a collection of learners tracking at their speed and interest level?
It was also stated there are three pieces to education
Narrating, curating, and sharing
Interesting when you think about what Common Core is attempting to do with higher level thinking skills. If we move education to a process of narrating, curating, and sharing I believe we move from memorizing to understanding. For you can not articulate the learned skill without understanding, you can not curate without understanding application, and you can not share without deeper understanding of what you have discovered.
Now the deeper question is what is the barrier to adoption of technology in education?
I thought it might be fun to create a living Mind Map based on a Ted Talk. Click on the talk and add your thoughts to the map.
Mind Map of Ted Talk
You can’t think of your pets without smiling
- Daisy is a 6 year old Golden who thinks she is human
- Gulliver is a 19 year old Himalayan who knows he is in charge
- Maxwell was Gulliver’s brother, he died at age 12
- Henny Penny, Cloe, Benedict, and Pat are my chickens.
Nor can you hear a dumb joke without at least a grin.
- Why does the giraffe have such a long neck? Because it has smelly feet.
- What do you call an acid with an attitude? A-mean-oh-acid
- What do you call bears with no ears? “B’s”
- What did the polar bear say when it saw a seal on a bike? Meals on Wheels.
- What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear.
- What do you call a pig who knows karate? A pork chop
I am active in Adult Education content development and best practices for Adult Learners. I have been privileged to work alongside some of the best minds in Adult Education from Non-Profits to Corrections. All striving towards the ultimate goal of moving adults from under employed to full time employment with access to the American Dream. A dream of a better life for self and family.
I care about what we leave behind. It is our job to lend a hand to the next generation and lift society up. I am beyond fortunate in that my career matches my passion. I have worked in Educational Publishing for the past 20 years. While creating content is a charge, there is nothing better than attending graduation and hearing how what you created helped a family or individual change thier path in life. Adult Education does not just impact the learner but the wider family unit creating options further down the line. Professionally, I am part of a team changing lives through one curious learner at a time by creating opportunities for life long learning. I create digital courses in blended learning environments designed to move the learner along at their pace, speaking to them where they are in life, removing education baggage, and helping the left behind learner “eat the elephant’ one bite at a time.
In my personal time, I break a lot of eggs! I like to create amazing cakes and spend a lot of time in the kitchen/lab. Some outcomes better than others, who knew green tea added to the batter would make the cake taste like spruce bark? It was worth a try. I have also created some pretty amazing combinations like chocolate cake with port wine reduction infused mouse. Now if I had only remembered to write it down.
Breaking eggs can be fun when in the kitchen but not so much in the classroom. If I were to engage in a protest it would be around education. I feel strongly, we need to move away from a one size fits most approach to education. Granted, the basics are the basics and everyone needs exposure to the basics but why did we move away from apprentice education? What caused us as a society to decide only those with advanced degrees in classical education are truly educated? I believe there are many paths to success once you have the fundamental skills in hand. Paths beyond higher education paths that lead to gainful employment and purpose. I am not saying do away with higher education but I would protest our habit of assessing a person’s worth based on pieces of paper.
Along that same thought, if I had the power to change the world I would do away with the question, “what do you do”. How many times in life have you decided a person’s worth based on what you see as the importance of thier job? How many times have you been in a social setting and been asked by a stranger , “so tell me, what do you do”. I would remove the need to rank a person’s value to you by what they do for a living. That is thier job/career not who they are.
“Who are you?” you ask? I am someone damned by the need to plan every detail. I am the planner that drives everyone nuts. I am the one who needs to see the end goal before starting a project. I am the one not capable of letting life simply happen. Annoying, isn’t it. If my magic wand worked I would change that about me. I admire people who can just let life happen.