Digital Literacies: Opening the Frontier


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Keynote, Dundee E-learning Symposium june 2012

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Digital Literacies: Opening the Frontier

  1. 1. Digital literacies: Opening the frontier orIs there a pedagogy of e-learning? #els12 #digilit George Roberts OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University Dundee, June 2012
  2. 2. Is there a pedagogy of e-learning?
  3. 3. Feedback• Yes• No
  4. 4. The Nays Have it?
  5. 5. ButThere is a pedagogy of e-learning
  6. 6. PedagogiesStudies and understandings of various practices of teaching
  7. 7. my pedagogy of e-learning• expressed through two broad themes: –digital literacy and –open academic practice• grounded in identity and community
  8. 8. Pedagogy with purpose• Furthering assembly• Opening third spaces• Acknowledging, building on, but not privileging originary knowledge cultures
  9. 9. If you cannot answerQUESTION: If SOPA/PIPA hadbeen passed into U.S. law in that question, you are2002, would Wikipedia exist not literate nor are youtoday? If either law had passed in in control of your life—2012, would Wikipedia exist in2022? Why or why not? Discuss.even if you think you are.
  10. 10. What happens when we stop privileging traditional ways oforganizing knowledge? (HASTAC)
  11. 11. Pedagogy for what?… for what happens when we stop privileging traditional ways of organizing knowledge (HASTAC)
  12. 12. Pedagogy for what?• Novelty, change and innovation? "Novelty provides a refuge from things that the powerful do not wish to see discussed.” (Hind 2012)
  13. 13. E-learning turns our attentionAlternative modes of Reorganisation of• Creating knowledge• Innovating • Interconnected• Critiquing • Interactive • Global • Democratic
  14. 14. Graduate attributes• Academic Literacy• Research Literacy• Digital and Information Literacy• Personal Literacy and Critical Self Awareness• Global Citizenship
  15. 15. Graduate attributes• Academic Literacy• Research Literacy• Digital and Information Literacy• Personal Literacy and Critical Self Awareness• Global Citizenship
  16. 16. digital literacy? … for personal, academic & professional use …• Functional access, skills & practices• Critically evaluate and engage with information• Reflect on & record learning• Engage productively in relevant online communities.
  17. 17. So far, so safe…But• Definitions of literacy that neglect the processes of making meaning are impoverished.• Meaning is something that happens between people.
  18. 18. The Digital Literacy debate hasbeen reduced to an argumentbetween• skills-only – eSkills, NetSkills• skills-plus-critical-theory – e.g. Beetham, Campbell, McGill
  19. 19. Skills + Critical Theory?• Strategic adaptation• Confronting a range of excluding practices• Well worth doing – But mere dialectic in the end – The dialogue with meaning has barely started
  20. 20. • Native – Immigrant (Prensky 2001)• Visitor – Resident (White Le Cornu 2011)• Voyeur – Flaneur (boyd 2011)
  21. 21. Literacy - including digital - isthe practice of enunciation in a community: “speaking” in the broadest sense, projecting an identity with, through and to others who concur
  22. 22. Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter, Perugino, 1481
  23. 23. Andy Wharhol, 1986
  24. 24. Discourses around higher education are: “… a field of competition for the legitimate exercise of symbolic violence,… an arena of conflict between rival principles of legitimacy, andcompetition for political, economic and cultural power (Bourdieu 1993, 121)
  25. 25. Digital literacy is far morethan skills with keyboard & apps. It is how we & our students negotiate the ICT-mediated frontier between rival principles.
  26. 26. digital literacy cannot be separated from othereducational - or social, or economic, or political - developments.
  27. 27. Open online academic practice offers a radical challenge to the “polyarchic” limits to the discussion of digitalliteracy within institutions, which are in conflict with themselves. (Richard Hall 2012)
  28. 28. Coursera MITx EDx
  29. 29. The e-learning myth has always inpart been built on the propositionthat more people can be taught by fewer. But new networks and groups may supplant older ones.
  30. 30. QuestionsCan you teach more people with e-learning? – What is the role of the teacher? – What is the social value of teachers? – What does this do to educational employment models? – How open can a firm be? – Are universities “firms” in the sense that companies are? – What kind of tenure, security and living might a teaching academic expect?
  31. 31. Pedagoies of e-learningThat range of technologies• Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Open Academic Practice• Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)• Social citation• Academic multimedia (lecture capture, audio feedback, etc)• Distributed collaboration
  32. 32. New non-text representations of knowledge: podcasting, lecture capture, audio and video feedback, oral presentation, lead to a challenging of traditional epistemologies:how do we know it is true if it isn’t text in a stable, printed form?
  33. 33.
  34. 34. It is kicking off everywhere.The Arab Spring movement can be seen as an example of wide-scaledistributed collaboration, and the London (and other city) riots lastsummer had a collaborative social media element to them.
  35. 35. Limits of navigation• MOOCs – Radical openness is not for everyone – Extrovert Introvert difference• Multimedia for assessment – Text citation and commentary asserts itself through every fissure – Opportunity for digital “vivas”• Distributed collaboration – We crave – and are good at – contact Sian Bayne on embodiment
  36. 36. Digital literacy is as fundamental as – and yet is distinct from –the literacy of the printed word. (Stephen Downes 2009)Therefore• YES! –there is a pedagogy of e-learning
  37. 37. Thank you Dr George RobertsOCSLD, Oxford Brookes University June 2012