Hyper Literacy

“Most people will have technologies at their fingertips not only to communicate but to create, to manipulate, to design, to self-actualize. “

This statement is more in line with the continuation and confirmation of the feeling I have every time in Dr Bonk’s class. The myriad and amazing possibilities just blow me away… the possible ways of communicating… ‘networking’

One of the interesting points in the “Connecting the Dots” article lead me to wonder what they are trying to say here…. is it whether there is more stress on technological competency rather than on learning through technology…. The literacy issue raised here seems to be more about ‘relevant’ education and learning rather than the ‘necessary’ learning.  I think the point about focus more on technological awareness and skills clashes with the ideology of what kids should be learning at a young age. It could be because of the fact that some or most of the teachers are not competent enough to deal with the kind of technology they are expected to handle as a part of their curriculum. Because of this the technology becomes the focus instead of a subject. It should be used only as a platform to different kinds of learning styles and not the main focus in any subject or class. As the author rightly says this needs vision and help from professionals like Dr Bonk to create enough confidence in the teachers about technology as tools and not the end all of their teaching techniques. Of course there are a lot of other issues in this completely unrelated to learning or teaching which probably may fall under the ‘administrative’ category.

I like the term digital literacy. It really puts the point of the article in great perspective. Its like talking about etiquette to someone who has already become a board member in an important social business group. We have gone far beyond ourselves to keep up with the technology. But it needs a certain amount of sensitivity and understanding which is sorely lacking. It’s not just about understanding technology it’s about how it should be used for maximum efficiency and using it for our needs and value addition. To continue another point about the literacy, teaching professionals need to change their view about the computer mediated education… they need to look at it as a value addition in the learning process, just another means for the students to broaden their horizons… for this they themselves need to be confident and fearless, literally, to explore the virtual world. Instead of teaching the students, the educators need to be aware of the exciting possibilities.

A completely unrelated topic which came up in my mind was that the amount of technology used in learning nowadays has made it possible for all kinds of learners to take part in online forums, blogs etc to overcome the fear of public participation in a very different way. Still I don’t think this has been solved, it has made such kind of people a lot more introverted. They do not have to venture off their computer chairs to network with anybody, they can sit right there and express their opinions and views without the fear of being ridiculed or recognized as a part of their ‘virtual’ personality.  As has been my personal experience too much of a dose of the cyber world makes the thin line between reality and ‘virtuality’ fuzzier than ever before. (Sometimes I am lead to believe that I am a brilliant ‘online’ student whereas my ‘live’ personality ain’t that smart! The immersion, for me, in this case, is complete! J)

‘The medium is the message’. I think this has gone to the next level of being the medium is the most important message. Cyber world, the most important development in our world of networking, education, communication ability…. The hyperness of it all… it makes me wonder…. It is the need of the hour to flow with this new wave but is this one of those irreversible events which needs further scrutiny and caution on our part as users of this media? It’s the new concept that everyone is hooking on to, does this concept need more analysis considering some of its features which may just come back to us a few years down the line taking us to the other extreme of becoming ‘anti-virtual’?



5 Responses to “Hyper Literacy”

  1. Curt Bonk Says:

    Ah, well, yes we can now participate virtually instead of in the streets. You can then participate anytime in the events of the world just like I am doing right now! It is a new age. The medium is truly the message.

    You points about digital literacy may make me change my lecture this week or next. Thanks. There are many new skills to keep track of. I gave a talk in Toronto on this recently. I will try to include.

    I like this quote below–we can now self-actualize with educational technology; we can design our lives with educational technology; we can create or add to society with edcuational technology; we can respond to and remanipulate what others have generated. In effect, IST is now the most important discipline for mankind! Do you agree?

    “Most people will have technologies at their fingertips not only to communicate but to create, to manipulate, to design, to self-actualize. “

  2. Evren Says:

    I agree with both of you. Especially as an international student in her first month in America, I really do not feel so comfortable while speaking. But when I’m messaging I have more time to think, remember the words or look up in the dictionary. So for me, it has been the most comfortable form of participating in the events of the world.

    Another point which I agree with Deepali, is the learners’ expectations that are related with the instructors: “Teaching professionals need to change their view about the computer mediated education… they need to look at it as a value addition in the learning process, just another means for the students to broaden their horizons…” -like Dr Bonk!

  3. Curt Bonk Says:

    Instructor expectations do matter. So I should set high expectations for all of you!!! right?

  4. Curt Bonk Says:

    There are a plethora of ways to add to or supplement the learning process! Blogs are a case in point. Podcasts too!

  5. Curt Bonk Says:

    Deepali says to me on email:

    ”For me, the use of so many types of media seems time consuming and cumbersome. Is it possible to make it time efficient and not such a big deal to use such media in dialy educational activities? Or is it just the attitdue which really needs to change?”

    Streamlining will help—tools that do everything—PLEs—Personal Learning Environments. This is where we are headed.

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