Sustaining Digital Literacy

1/10/2014 12:00:00 AM
I’m excited to be teaching a course in a few weeks for Wilkes University called “Sustaining Digital Literacy” as part of the new EDGE offering. Essentially this is a great way to quickly get yourself up to speed with emerging technologies. 

The course I’m offering focuses on a few things:

  • Finding trusted people who are doing the heavy lifting of research and implementation

This is more than about a Personal Learning Network but a more focused look at how to find people who doing interesting work and sharing it in such a way that one can not only tap into their research but also view issues from multiple perspectives. Today’s challenge is the traditional research is often difficult to find. A shift to participating and observing action research that is less formal is critical. We can’t, and don’t need to wait till the white paper is published.

  • Understanding and valuing civil discourse

5848124488_6a726f3535_mCivil discourse is something I’m highly cognizant about and when it works, it’s a powerful thing. Case in point this recent discussion on Google Glass. You don’t need to know much about Glass but you really get two distinct perspectives, some you may not have considered. You also leave the conversation with the names of smart folks on both sides of the issue who will continue to voice strong and important opinions on this and other emerging technologies. The point is not necessarily to pick the best argument but to immerse yourself in new ideas. This is such a challenge for us because we are prone to want to make judgments and choose sides. It’s our tendency to become emotionally tied to our ideas and often that results in less than civil debates where arguments become personal. My goal is to introduce a number of these kinds of issues and technologies and provide folks with a starting point on which to explore and learn and sustain and focus on civility.

  • Choose your own emerging idea to explore

While we’ll look at a number of issues together, like the flipped classroom, Chromebooks vs Ipads and other devices as well as other hotly debated educational topics. The real goal is to equip you to be able to choose any topic and quickly find reliable people and resources showcase various perspectives. You’ll be able to pick the topic that intrigues you and using some of the tools and resources we’ll look at, develop your own strategies and means to sustain this kind of literacy.

While I’ve been teaching online now for 7 years, this is my first experience teaching outside the University of Regina. My experience there as been quite liberating in terms of course development. It’s been a bit of a challenge for me developing this course as Wilkes has more stringent requirements in terms of delivery. That said, it was a good challenge for me and more importantly, I’m really looking forward to offering this come March 10th. If you’re interested in participating, I’d love to have you.

Photo Credit: Paul L Dineen via Compfight cc

cross-posted at http://ideasandthoughts.org/

Dean Shareski is a Digital Learning Consultant with the Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada, specializing in the use of technology in the classroom. He lectures for the University of Regina and is the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN or Discovery Educators Network.
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