Reflections by Martha Middleton
“This is the kind of book that still requires some work on the part of the reader.”
I downloaded the book and am reading a PDF version. The format is clean and easy to manipulate which is a plus for a PDF.
Chapter 1 is an overview of the book and not very heavy in ideas. I did like the comment of the book being "raw material from which you can start thinking about what digital literacies might mean in your context". This comment has me hopeful the topic will be covered in a format allowing application to where I am currently and then again where I will be in the future. It would have real value if it is a book that can be visited many times in life as my knowledge base expands.--Martha Middleton (talk) 01:40, 21 June 2016 (BST)
★ Traditional concepts of literacy are problematic ★ Literacy always involves technology ★ Literacy practices are inherently social activities ★ Digital literacy is an ambiguous concept
I strongly disagree with the author's oversimplification of literacy being the ability to "read and write". I would define literacy as the utilization of observed information. When we define Digital Literacy using the narrow scope of reading and writing we end up in a circle of analysis.
Using his summary of the information in chapter 2 I am finding the start of the book a bit too narrow in scope.
Traditional concepts of literacy are problematic only when you define literacy as the ability to read and write. If you expand your understanding of literacy to utilization of observed information you include the world around an individual.
Literacy always involves technology is a statement I am not grasping. Using his path from the printing press is he trying to say all lives prior to the printing press were illiterate? Using his statement of technology being a tool you can expand the scope of technology beyond digital items but I contend you can be literate in absence of technology. You can not obtain digital literacy in absence of technology but could I not be a literate poet using spoken word?
"What one author meant by ‘digital’ wasn’t what another meant by the same term"
The idea of ambiguity in digital literacy resonates with me. One educator will understand digital components as PDF copies of a textbook while another educator is understanding digital as fully functioning learning management systems.
“Every term that we use has both what’s known as a denotative aspect and what’s known as a connotative aspect.” I think the author is trying to articulate is we bring to our understanding of terms our life baggage. Meaning, we understand the basic term and layer upon it based on where we are in life. We apply context clues and prior knowledge to form our understanding of a term.
Chapter 3 focused on human communication being, at the core, ambiguous
★ Ambiguity is something to be embraced when it comes to digital literacies ★ Use different types of ambiguity for different purposes
Is the author trying to stress not defining the term digital literacy?
"Skills are not learned in isolation, but rather developed within a context". I would contend this really depends upon the skill being acquired. Would this statement be accurate for learning to multiply? There are two schools of thought on that one being you do not truly learn to multiply without understanding the concept of multiplication and the other school being you need to memorize the multiplication facts as they are a block on the path to greater knowledge. I would think the example of multiplication skills being a skill you could learn in isolation without impacting understanding.
"Literacies are plural and not neutral when it comes to power social identity and political ideology" is a statement I agree with. Application of literacy skills build the blocks for options
"There is a continuum of skills, through competencies up to literacies" is a statement I disagree with. When you define literacy as utilization of observed information I would say literacy is a continuum in and of itself. It appears the author is stating their are building blocks to form literacy.
"Literacies are best taught when the learner can see the whole picture of what they are learning and where they are going" is a statement I agree with. The author made that point of learning not being a linear process and allowing the learner to move along the continuum as they gain understanding and build literacy.
In the conclusion of chapter 5 I believe the author is telling the reader to not allow the definition of digital literacy shape the process. Additionally, I believe the author is saying the definition of digital literacy is what the group deems it to be. It appears the author is concerned the term digital literacy will go the route of "digital native" if it is closely defined not allowing it to expand as needed.
I agree with the author's observation of "there are many different, competing definitions of ‘digital literacies’." I see the logic in "co-created definitions having more power than those that are simply adopted or imposed." It is logical to think if you define a solution to match the problem you will have greater buy in. "A definition of digital literacies can be found by applying the eight essential elements of digital literacies to a particular context", is simply providing a framework to craft the solution to the identified problem. Apply the formula of Cultural,Cognitive, Constructive, Communicative, Confident, Creative, Critical and Civic questions to the problem you are trying to address through digital literacy to derive your definition, of digital literacy