Coding: Is It a New and Necessary Component of Digital Literacy?

Hello all:
Striving to remain digitally literate and looking for ideas to share with my readers, I search the Internet and books for more ways to think about and discuss digital literacy. Today, I came across  coding and digital literacy, so these words become the crux of today’s post.
First, here is a good definition of digital literacy that I wanted to share. Marcus Wohlsen writes* that digital literacy is ” about educators, policy makers, and parents understanding how to give the rising generations of digital natives the tools they need to define the future of technology for themselves.”

This digital literacy definition is couched in his article about coding or the knowledge of how to do computer programming or write software instructions so that one can tell a computer what to do.    He relays that coding is not just about getting a computer to do what you want, but about creating your own digital tools.

While the concept of creating your own digital tool is certainly noteworthy and probably even one that we should strive for, I say we must continue to focus on having the greater percentage of educators become digitally literate so that they can shape the students’ thinking and learning when using digital tools. (Wohlsen presents this line of thinking in his article too.)

I further the idea by saying that those who are raising these students: not just parents, but grandparents, and even great-grandparents need to be digitally literate in this current cyberspace world before we sprint off to make new tools. What good is a new digital tool if we have little idea of how to wield the ones already at our disposal?

Share your thoughts!

* See the full article at Digital Literacy Is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What It Means

Visual Literacy: Now You See It– What Does It Mean?

Hello all:
I’m continuing with some details about my working definition of digital literacy.  (See  https://wordpress.com/post/54145519/160/.) The last posts were about metacognition and information literacy. Today’s post is about visual literacy.

Visual literacy for me is obtaining meaning from and correctly relating images to each other so that they enhance your understanding of the world around you.

Dr. Todd Finley in his Edutopia blog post* gives a terrific and short definition for visual literacy. He writes that visual literacy should help students “think through, think about, and think with pictures”.

As we see and interpret images long before we understand the written language, the opportunity to teach youngsters to comprehend the direct and the implied message of images starts right away! The challenge for we digital immigrants to teach visual literacy to digital natives with all that technology exposes us to is sometimes daunting.

Yet the sooner we start, the sooner we will see success!
Share your thoughts!

* http://www.edutopia.org/blog/ccia-10-visual-literacy-strategies-todd-finley. (View his post to see specific strategies he gives for teaching visual literacy.)

Digitally Literate — Not Now, Maybe Never?

Here I’ve promoted the digital literacy topic, blog-wise anyway, for the last 2 months. And yes, I have made the presumption that readers here are in support of digital literacy. Readers here, appreciate digital literacy’s present and future value in our lives. Yet, I knew the day would come when I would also have to make a comment about those who have no interest in digital literacy. There are hordes of people who for economic or intellectual reasons have very limited access to the Internet or who are purposefully steering clear of it entirely.
In a recent New York Times blog*, the comment is made that 60 million Americans are not hooked into the Internet.

And while I may think, we may think, that people have the liberty to choose whether to be on the Internet, I am not sure the answer is that simple.
For through this same 60 million people who aren’t on the Internet, is it safe to assume that the children, grandchildren, or foster children they are raising or influencing are also not on the Internet?
How can you be digitally literate if you are not even thinking of the digital world? Where does that leave that group of digital natives, who are under their care, in terms of the job market and socially? Moreover where does that leave us, digital immigrants, that they may have to care for in 20-30 years? YIKES!

* See the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/technology/a-push-to-connect-millions-who-live-offline-to-the-internet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Directing the Digital Natives

What’s a digital native?* — a digital native is a person born after digital technology was introduced into society. Since this group has been around and often immersed in digital technology they are very comfortable using the computer and the Internet?( How many times have we heard or said, “I’ll get my grandson or my kids to show me how to use the Internet or open my email. “You know young people know technology!”)
This generation expects technology to be a part of their everyday work and recreational activity. The challenge for we digital immigrants*, those born before digital technology was introduced into society, is to keep up with them while still ensuring that they learn the 3R’s and information literacy skills to boot**!
Share your thoughts!

* These terms were first coined by Marc Prensky, American educator.”

** See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aya43MnWTxQ