Chris Fliss - Reflection 2: What's the problem?

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My excerpt for this section is when the author refers to the concept of zeugmas. He described digital literacy as a zeugma, and he also mentioned visual literacy, information, literacy as well. In this section he is arguing that literacy itself is a problematic term because of how broad of a category that it is. It is more of a comparison of understanding than a way to categorize people into two often described groups, illiterate and literate. He suggests that adding digital in front of literacy adds another layer of ambiguity. One is unsure what precisely is being modified as a result of using the term "digital literacy."

Another excerpt I wanted to mention and then reflect on was the assertion that literacy is inherently a social phenomenon. The author explains his argument by claiming literacy needs tool-knowledge and content-knowledge. The tools we use are for communicating. "Tomorrow's illiterate will not be the man who can't read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn."

The Rich Part

The concept of considering digital literacy as a zeugma moved me to ponder more deeply what it constitutes. I started thinking about the different types of technology that one could have a measurable competence in. The author brought up coding as a part of digital literacy. Based on the inclusion of that, I jumped to photography. Over that last decade or so, photography has transformed from film and development to using digital cameras and editing software for enhancement. Dr. Belshaw really expanded the concept of digital literacy when he mentions that it "always includes technology," therefore some subjects like photography are transforming and are becoming part of digital literacy when they weren't before. I found this to be thought provoking because following the logic that digital literacy is becoming more encompassing as more fields are including technology, becoming digitally literate is a large undertaking and a longer journey than it once was.

Realizing that the journey is expanding and continuing to be defined, being a technology teacher claiming digital literacy ought to come with further subcategories of expertise. I feel that a certain level of humbleness and comfortableness in one's own skin will service he or she well, considering it is unreasonable to be an expert in every aspect of every emerging and even existing categories of technology.

I tend to agree with Dr. Belshaw's comment that literacy is a social phenomenon. [1] The link I just provided, talks about the rise of a social tool. Approximately 10 years ago Facebook was invented. Its success is due impart because it created a medium of communication. This digital tool would not be much more than experiment if it did not fill a social way of communicating. It set forth new ways of communicating with new phrases that would be meaningless outside of the context of facebook, such as:

  • I am going to post this
  • liking a post
  • tagging a post

In addition to specialized phrases, it has caused further thought into privacy issues and security considerations. The more information I post, the more careful I want to be with whom I share my posts. This is important because the more information I put out there the easier it is to have my identity stolen.

The language-based literacy picture certainly expands when newer and emerging technologies enter the picture. And then it expands further into visual literacies (icon literacy, UI literacies, etc.) ---Fncll (talk)

Reflections by Chris Fliss