Assignment 2 Reflection

I have spent the last 7 weeks on one of the most demanding learning experiences of my life. Almost all of the material and tasks have been foreign to me. I have had to restart numerous times, and have been challenged by software, hardware, and ISP issues. In short, I have been a student.

I have investigated the digital divide, Transmedia and Digital Fluency. One of the challenges I have faced is to learn as an adult, and teach to children. Another of the challenges we face is with new and increasingly interactive technology and to develop teaching programs that will appeal to the student, invite their participation and develop their learning skills whilst maintaining their security and preparing them for situations that have not been developed yet.

My Voki deals with the problem of how to provide a state of the art education, using digital technologies, to peoples from varying backgrounds I used software which demonstrated perfectly which side of the digital divide I sit.

My Prezi looks at Transmedia. Wow! When you delve into the different media forms conveying the same story. I thought of media as a narrow field, incorporating the press, television and radio. On my further investigation though, I have broadened my outlook to include comics, the internet, social media and also some other medium, that though not specifically digital, is integral to the spreading of the same story through clothing, models and transport.

The blog on Fluency explores the areas and depth of knowledge required for “Fluency”. As is detailed this is not an easily quantifiable level. I finally found two software packages, Word and Excel that I would have described myself as fluent in. Alas, when investigating further there would seem to be more that I don’t know than that which I do know.

(300 words)

My Digital Fluency blog

J Howell states, and I paraphrase, Digital Fluency is acquired largely by trial and error, and can be difficult to quantify, and she goes on to suggest that students should be exposed to as many different technologies and forms in an academic year. (1) https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e4

We as teachers have to find ways to take our students through as many of the available technologies as we can, develop their knowledge and fluency with these technologies, and at the same time reassure them that what they have learned, though it will likely be obsolete in a few years, is not wasted learning, but the foundation for future learning.

“Digital Fluency is defined as the competencies, new representational practices, design sensibilities, and technical expertise that a learner gains or demonstrates by using digital tools to gather, design, evaluate, critique, synthesize, and develop digital media artefacts, communication messages, or other electronic expressions” (Hsi, Pinkard, & Woolsey, 2005).

Part of this fluency development could be to take the student from a technology that they are familiar with, eg their smartphone which they use mainly for texting, and introduce them to new applications on the same device. This may be maps, to use for directions. They can also record places visited on a holiday. The calendar function can also be used as a diary. Most young people already know how to download or listen to music on their smart phone, but the challenge for the teacher is to stay up to date with technology as it develops, and to find ways to impart this new knowledge to the students. As I have said most students are fluent in their areas of interest. It would be a great learning tool if they were encouraged to develop and share their knowledge in the classroom.

We have computers available for use in a lot of classrooms. These can be used as investigative tools. We can encourage searching for complementary applications to the ones we are familiar with. This will reinforce the student’s self-belief that they have capabilities. There are many different art related applications to be experimented with. We have digital calculators these days, compare these to slide rules, logarithm tables and the old abacus. Encourage the students to be daring and challenging.

(283 words)

 

Script and references for Voki

Participation and the digital divide.

Jamillah Moore, states in her article. “To adequately educate our students they will need access to technology at schools and in homes” (1) (Amplifier magazine, May 16 2014). This statement reinforces that technology is now an integral part of our social and educational existence.

We have a digital expectancy which is constantly evolving and being contributed to, by

(3) Figure 4.1: J Howell p 59.

So is something so essential to our being, universally available? No, we have a digital divide. The digital divide describes the inequality of access that exists between the contributors from these varying sectors. Computerbank’s Bill Boledziuk said the people who buy their low-cost computers often can’t afford to connect them to the internet (3) (lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide). The same article is headed “lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide” (4) (lack of affordable broadband is creating digital divide).

So what are some of the influencing factors creating the digital divide? Family support or the lack of, One’s economic situation, Hardware availability, Teaching and education resources, Internet access and speed, Age and Physical disability are just some.

What will be the consequences of allowing a digital divide to exist? As the world economy grows and borders come down, there will be a common language used to communicate. A term has been coined, describing those who are digitally fluent as insiders, and those with limited or no digital skills as outsiders. Assuming the digital age is here to stay, we can easily see the disadvantage that is imposed on the outsiders by this divide. It is paramount that we try to ensure that all entrants are afforded the same chance to be competitive.

What can we do to close this divide? Nicholas Negroponte has been instrumental in the establishment of a not for profit organisation who’s ambitious charter is to provide 1 laptop per child in developing countries. (5) (Negroponte, N. 2007), Telecommunications companies can make funds available through subsidised Internet subscriptions. Governments are developing educational programs based on digital technologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT:Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Australia and New Zealand: Oxford University Press

 

 

  • Paraphrased, Retrieved fromhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/shelves-of-second-hand-monitors-at-the-computerbank-warehouse/5566802

 

 

 

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