Posts Tagged ‘digital’
I watched this Fine Bros video from two perspectives.
One was as a subscriber who enjoys the format of their “…React To” series. The kids’, teens’, elders’, and YouTubers’ reactions are as insightful as they are entertaining.
The other was as an educator. The way the Fine Bros conducted the video-based interview was a good example of digital sleuthing.
They first showed the teens a clip from a movie. Most of them already knew what the “cup song” phenomenon was. But they did not know how old the song was and that the cup-tapping idea was “stolen” from earlier efforts.
I think it was a good lesson about not taking things at face value and learning how to dig deeper. This should be part of lessons on being digitally literate.
You do not have to start a lesson on evaluating online resources by examining Wikipedia entries or Google Search results. Those are boring. Go where they are at and they will learn more!
The other lesson was about sharing openly. If the two girls did not upload their video to YouTube in 2009, we would not know that their effort preceded the one in the 2012 movie Pitch Perfect.
Videos and other online artefacts are not called digital footprints for nothing. They are evidence. While some focus on how such footprints can have negative consequences (e.g., you get fired for sharing a nasty photo), they can have positive outcomes too (e.g., you make a case for your intellectual property).
When something is insidious, it is not obvious when examined casually.
The “digital divide” is often viewed from the obvious technology access lens. For example, if teachers or students do not have devices and Internet access, how are they to curate or create content? While that perspective is important, it should not be the only argument against integrating technology into education.
In the context of post-industrialized countries, that point is moot. There are ways of putting technologies in the hands of learners. Every learner. The technologies get better and cheaper. Financially there are sponsors, donors, assistance schemes, etc. Schools need to think outside the box they create for themselves.
There is another more insidious box that divides the haves and have-nots. I have reflected on this before. There is the nature and quality of technology use once you have access to educational technology. The video above articulates this nicely.
The video describes a techno-pedagogical divide. I can think of many examples but will illustrate with just three.
A teacher might have access to an Interactive White Board in her classroom. But all she does is focus on didactic teaching and perhaps entertaining her students with slick animations, eye-candy transitions, and funny YouTube videos. She might do something similar by telling a riveting story with an oversized book, so her strategy for using the book and IWB are essentially the same. She is on the wrong side of the divide even if she has the IWB.
Another teacher can have access to a cart of iPads and reliable Internet access. But he allows access to the cart only when he asks his students to search for definitions, images, or videos to shed light on a concept. He does not leverage on what his students already carry in their pockets or bags, nor the spontaneity of search. He is unlikely to model information search skills and ethical use of what he finds. That teacher is also on the wrong side of the divide.
Now consider a group of teachers attempting to innovate by using a Edmodo or Facebook in their lessons. They transfer only what they experienced in the learning management system during their university days to the social media platform. They post content-only questions and expect students to answer them. They upload PowerPoint presentations and PDF readings. They wrap socialization around content instead of the other way around.
All those teachers are using new technologies with old methods. That is like moving to another country and refusing to learn the language and culture of the place. Both you and the residents may initially be wowed by the novelty. But soon both will tire of it and eventually resent it.
The insidious divide is a pedagogical one and it is far more harmful than the technological one. In a technological divide, the have-nots do not know what they are missing out on, but over time eventually might gain access to the tools.
In a pedagogical divide, the technology is present but its use is mismanaged and this sends the wrong message. This leads both the learner and instructor to question its validity and subsequent reliability.
Just thinking out loud…
New terms seem to emerge around educational technology. There are “digital x” forms like digital citizenship and digital fluency. There are the “x literacies” like assessment literacy and information literacy. The mother of such terms, digital literacy, might be the most vague of all
I wonder if we might just focus on citizenship, fluency, assessment, and being literate. While I can see some point of emphasizing how different these things might be, part of me resists the dichotomy of such thinking.
The intent of inventing and defining such terms may be good. They may exist to inform and to educate. But when descriptive terms get misinterpreted, or worse, to be prescribed, there is the temptation to create another confusing silo of thought and practice instead of a coherent whole.
A few days ago, I received this email from “Hanna”. This could be a real person or not.
Hi Dr. Tan,
I’m getting in touch with you because I’d like to contribute an article to your blog. I found your blog post as I was conducting research for a resource about how technology is used in education today.
The article that I’d like to contribute would be look at the most effective methods (and not so-effective ways) that technology has been introduced into classrooms and learning environments. How is technology used to improve knowledge retention and the efficiency of providing students with a wealth of information?
Please let me know if you’d be interested in an article of this sorts. I’d be happy to hear your opinions about this and work with you on hashing out a more cohesive idea if you’d like.
If this is real and Hanna really reads my blog, I expect a response by way of comment.
If this is not real, then this is what spam, marketing, or phishing is starting to look like. It can be hard to tell.
So here is my open letter response to Hanna and whoever else tries this in the future.
Thank you for contacting me. I am surprised that you found my blog because it is among millions.
I am not sure that you will want to write in my blog because this is my expectation for it: I do not blog for views. I blog my views. I do this to learn and to shape my thoughts on educational technologies and technology-mediated pedagogies. This is in my About Me page. Perhaps you did not see this statement.
As for a topic, I do not think it wise to promote current technology for just knowledge acquisition or retention. We already have books and tests for that.
Far more important is how to leverage on technology to promote collaboration, communication, content creation, critiquing, etc. Today, it is less about WHAT you know and more about WHO you know and WHAT YOU DO with what you know.
If you are real, I would like to hear your thoughts in return.
If you are not, then kudos to you for trying.
Real or fake, I think you will understand my caution and skepticism. Better to err on the side of caution.
It would help you in your cause (the real attempt to connect or to deceive) if you provided more information about yourself beyond your name and Gmail address (email@example.com). These days you are one Google search away from being verified or trashed.
Whatever the outcome of this exchange, I thank you for the opportunity to not just practice my digital literacies but also develop some digital wisdom.
I stumbled upon this piece on the digital divide.
Like most folks, I understood the digital divide to be about the technology haves and have-nots. The technologies could include computers, smartphones, and broadband. These issues on access to use technology.
Then there is the divide based on the nature of use. While some might use the technology for time-wasting (only consuming entertainment), others may use the technology to educate (for learning or creating).
Furthermore, not knowing how to effectively integrate technology into education, work and/or life is another divide. This overlaps with the nature of use but seems to be more about the quality of use.
So someone with access to mobile broadband might be able to watch Nyan Cat-like videos and not know how (or refuse) to do more than that and still be on the wrong side of the digital divide.
If you have no idea what happened almost a week ago in Singapore, you might wonder if this forum posting was factual, a fake, or farcical.
If you thought this was factual (a child actually wanted strangers to help her choose a new class monitor), you might find it both amusing and sad. Amusing because of the way it was written; sad because it was written the way many kids here speak English.
If you thought the posting was fake, you could say you knew because no school would allow their students to use mobile phones so openly. There was also little point in choosing a class monitor when the school vacation was about to start.
If you thought that this posting was a farce or spoof of last week’s by-election in Hougang, you would be right. You might also appreciate the poster’s ability to create a believable classroom scenario.
I could use an artefact like this to highlight the importance of information and digital literacies. I might facilitate a session with these questions:
- What online source does the screenshot look like it is from?
- Do you think this is real? How do you know?
- What sources of information helped you determine your answer(s) to the previous question?
- What can you now teach your parents/peers/juniors?
I could also tweak the workshops I offer on Web 2.0 and social media by providing this scenario as context for learning technical and social skills.
This is a digital story that has taken 12 years so far to make. The years fly by in less than three minutes.
The story is told by Dutch filmmaker and photographer Frans Hofmeester. He also has another time-lapse video of his 9-year-old son. The story is likely to continue for as long as the father and the kids have the patience and persistence to keep at it.
Digital stories: They tend to take more time, effort, and thought to make. But they can be very engaging and leave lots of room for critique, interpretation, and reflection.
This tongue-in-cheek video is titled Google Me. While it seeks to entertain, there is a serious message hidden in between the frames. It is about managing our digital identities, footprints, and shadows.
I distinguish between the three. A digital identity is like a passport, identity card or driver’s licence. It is official and you have it to prove you are who you are. We establish our digital identities with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, e-portfolios, etc.
A digital footprint is something you know you leave behind but are not quite concerned about. Depending on where you walk, the footprints may be temporary (if you walk in sand) or almost permanent (if you walk in concrete). Browser cookies are like that and these digital footprints allow you to be tracked.
A digital shadow is something you cannot avoid as long as you stand or move in the light. As we navigate the Internet, we cast a shadow that changes its shape depending on where we are. Some shadows are accurate while others are distorted. We cast our shadows in media sites (photos and videos of you), forums (your opinions), and review sites (opinions of you).
A recent study revealed that 38% of children in the USA on Facebook were not even 12-years-old. Another study estimates that 89% of USA employers use social media to recruit employees [PDF]. Who is really teaching kids how to manage their digital lives?
I stubbed my toe last evening. When it started to swell and change colour, I opted to have it x-rayed at a hospital to make sure that it was not broken.
During our conversation, the doctor asked me for my occupation and I told him what I did. He looked surprised and said that I should have mentioned this earlier so that he would have addressed me differently.
It was my turn to be surprised. Did it really matter that I was a doctor albeit a different kind? Was there some special treatment from one kind of doctor to another? Given the number of foreign workers that frequented that hospital, how might he treat non-doctors?
I realized that I was getting ahead of myself. I opted to keep those thoughts in my head and just pointed out that I was like any ordinary guy. Ordinary enough to stub my toe.
by JD Hancock
But I was privileged.
I used the Internet to figure out where the nearest hospital was. I used my iPhone to help me get there. I brought my iPad along to monitor what my student teachers were doing for practicum, wade in my Twitter stream, respond to email, connect with someone new on Google+, and draft this blog entry.
I worked hard to be where I am and to be on the right side of the digital divide. But there were others who worked harder and were still on the wrong side of the divide. They were all around me in the waiting room. If their children did not get a good education, they were just as likely to be digital have-nots.
Even our own privileged Singapore kids can be have-nots because most schools still do not encourage or allow them to use their own computing devices in school. At least, not as pervasively as I imagine that they should.
I cannot decide which is worse. Having so little in terms of ICT and wanting to do so much. Or having so much and doing so little with it.
I realize that these are issues that drive me. I think I can help address both issues by influencing the teacher educators and teachers I come into contact with. All of us need to get our learners to meaningfully use however much ICT they have in their hands.
It all starts with some pain or knowing that something needs fixing. We have conversations and x-ray the issues so that they are as clear as possible. Then we take action and reflect on what we do.
I asked myself this question when I read this Gizmodo article, Stop Calling It Curation.
Without really pinpointing any phenomenon on any particular online platform, the author was probably against what was happening in places like Delicious, Diigo, Pinterest, Storify, and Tumblr. What users typically do there is add or share links based on themes.
If that was the case, then this is certainly not museum-type curation. But that does not mean that it is not a new form of curation.
Curators aim to educate or to tell a story. If curation requires the careful collection, arrangement, and presentation of artefacts, then today’s digital curation tools like Scoop.it certainly help us do that.
I use Scoop.it and Delicious to collect useful resources based on concepts like the flipped classroom or game-based learning. These are become essential readings or references for my classes, courses, or workshops.
So, yes, digital curation is not like the curation of old. But that is the point. Many museums are not keeping up with the times and museum curation might be a dying art. But curation itself is evolving into a different and vibrant form online.