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Mind the Gap: Digital Literacies off the Rails

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Opening presentation at The Digital University, Social Justice and the ‘public good’. Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast
16th February 2018

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Mind the Gap: Digital Literacies off the Rails

  1. 1. Mind the Gap: Digital Literacies off the Rails Professor Mark Brown Belfast 16th February 2018 The Digital University, Social Justice and the ‘public good’ Queen’s University Belfast
  2. 2. The light comes through the cracks @mbrownz
  3. 3. The light comes through the gaps https://pixabay.com/en/train-tracks-walking-journey-alone-1081672/ @mbrownz
  4. 4. “To say something is not true, valuable, or useful, without posing alternatives is, paradoxically, to affirm that it is true.
  5. 5. “To say something is not true, valuable, or useful, without posing alternatives is, paradoxically, to affirm that it is true. Thus coupled with this negative project, or rather, indistinguishable from it, must be a positive, constructive project: creating alternatives.” (Grosz 1990; cited in Milojevic, 2005, p.5).
  6. 6. Rhetoric vs. Reality Gap
  7. 7. State of Art vs. State of Actual Gap
  8. 8. Near vs. Far Gap
  9. 9. Outline 1. Digital futures 2. Digital literacies 3. Digital universities Mind the Gap: Digital Literacies off the Rails
  10. 10. Digital literacies should be about promoting critical mindsets rather than developing narrow skillsets
  11. 11. “All generalizations are dangerous, even this one” (Alexandre Dumas)
  12. 12. 1. Digital futures…
  13. 13. 1. Digital futures…
  14. 14. Different interest groups and stakeholders are borrowing the same ‘languages of persuasion’ to legitimize very different digital futures
  15. 15. “It is theory that decides what we can observe”
  16. 16. TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES Mark Brown, 2016 • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Digital Futures
  17. 17. Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Digital Futures
  18. 18. “Frankly, all the computers and software and Internet connections in the world won’t do much good if young people don’t understand that access to new technology means… access to the new economy” (President Bill Clinton; cited in Cuban, 2001, p.18).
  19. 19. Learning Society Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Digital Futures
  20. 20. “Higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal...” The President said “…the role of the university in enabling citizens to develop the tools to address the great challenges of our time – global poverty, climate change and sustainability – was vital.
  21. 21. ReconceptualizingDeschooling ReschoolingReproducing • Democratising • Opening access • Micro credentials • New learning pathways Learning Society Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 • Competencies • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Increased market competition • Social justice • Lifelong learning • Pillars of learning • Sustainable development • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Digital Futures
  22. 22. Education in Change Education for Change
  23. 23. “All education springs from images of the future and all education creates images of the future. Thus all education, whether so intended or not, is a preparation for the future. Unless we understand the future for which we are preparing we may do tragic damage to those we teach.” (Toffler, 1974). We have important choices in shaping our own digital futures
  24. 24. 2. Digital literacies…
  25. 25. 2. Digital literacies… World Economic Forum (2016) https://medium.com/world-economic-forum/8-digital- skills-we-must-teach-our-children-f37853d7221e
  26. 26. https://nidl.blog
  27. 27. “As the chapters that follow attest, the most immediately obvious facts about accounts of digital literacy are that there are many of them and that there are significantly different kinds of concepts on offer” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2008, p.2).
  28. 28. Identified over 100 models and frameworks which to greater or lesser extent purport to encapsulate the various dimensions of digital skills, literacies or competencies. http://allaboardhe.org/DSFramework2015.pdf
  29. 29. The literature is ‘broad and ambiguous, making digital literacy a nebulous area that requires greater clarification and consensus’ (Alexander, Adams Becker & Cummins, 2016, p.1). https://www.nmc.org/publication/digital-literacy-an-nmc-horizon-project-strategic-brief/
  30. 30. 15 Sub Elements Digital Capability Framework
  31. 31. http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bit stream/JRC101254/jrc101254_digcomp%202.0 %20the%20digital%20competence%20framewo rk%20for%20citizens.%20update%20phase%20 1.pdf
  32. 32. “… participating in society,” http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bit stream/JRC101254/jrc101254_digcomp%202.0 %20the%20digital%20competence%20framewo rk%20for%20citizens.%20update%20phase%20 1.pdf
  33. 33. 2017 Carretero, S., Vuorikari, R., & Punie, Y. (2017). Available from http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repo sitory/bitstream/JRC106281/web- digcomp2.1pdf_(online).pdf
  34. 34. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files /DIGCOMP-FINAL- %20UPDATED%2002-06-2016.pdf
  35. 35. For the purpose of this report we can define digital skills, literacies or competencies as .... “the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society, with the knowledge that a digital society is ever evolving” (p.18). http://allaboardhe.org/DSFramework2015.pdf
  36. 36. http://allaboardhe.org/digital-skills-framework/
  37. 37. http://allaboardhe.org/digital-skills-framework/
  38. 38. (Brown, 2017) “Good educators are not just workers to be digitally upskilled. They should be valued as trusted professionals and important change agents willing to challenge and transform both old and new practices which reproduce inequitable distribution of power, knowledge and resources”
  39. 39. https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/fil e_attachments/bp-economy-for-99-percent- 160117-en.pdf
  40. 40. http://tinyurl.com/z6nrleo
  41. 41. Digital literacies are about (re)shaping our societies for better futures—for all.
  42. 42. 3. Digital universities…
  43. 43. 3. Digital universities… What type of universities do we want for the post-digital era?
  44. 44. 1845
  45. 45. Should universities strive to be critics and conscience of society?
  46. 46. Critical Consumers Critical Citizens LEARNING TO BE LEARNING TO KNOW LEARNING TO DO LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER Critical Thinkers What type of citizens do we need in the post-digital era?
  47. 47. These questions raise fundamental issues about what we believe constitutes the good society
  48. 48. How we define the good society will influence who pays for Higher Education
  49. 49. OECD (2017) Education at a Glance Ireland
  50. 50. Conclusion
  51. 51. Three final remarks…. • Explore new frontiers • Not on independent trajectory • Must keep sight of the big ideas
  52. 52. Building a plane on the fly…
  53. 53. Go raibh maith agaibh!

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