«Digital literacies are those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society» (JISC), or «important literacies to survive and thrive in the digital age» as they put it at the Open Networked Learning site.
As a reflective learner in this course it seems fitting to dwell on my own situation, am I sufficiently digitally competent to live, learn, work, survive and thrive in this digital era?
JISC explains that digital literacies consist of these seven elements:
Looking at this model I believe that the answer to the question in bold above is «no» (at this point), and I will try to explain by using one example from the ONL course:
At the very beginning of the first meeting in our PBL-group the facilitator asked us to present ourselves and I was asked to go first. Then I got so stressed out because I did not know where to look! If I looked at the frames with my fellow group members, the picture of me looked funny because it seemed like I was looking away. However, if I looked directly at the web-camera, then I could not see the reactions of the other group members and it felt like talking out in the open with no one listening. This webcam-issue took up all my focus and as a result I made a terrible presentation.
Not exactly thriving online.
I believe the above example clearly demonstrates lack of ICT literacy. I did not have the preliterate knowledge about how to interact with people in an online context. Doug Belshaw explain that such preliterate knowledge is required for reading a book as well, (e. g. knowledge about which way to hold the book, and that you are not supposed to open it from the spine-end).
However, I am convinced that the problem is not that I am not able to function online, but I lack the experience in doing so. I view digital literacies as skills which you acquire through experience-based learning.
On an everyday basis I work with an experience-based course called Experts in Teamwork, where students actively reflect on their own experiences. We use David Kolb’s pedagogical model of experiential learning to describe the learning process in EiT in four stages: Concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation (Sortland, 2017).
I believe that the ONL course is a great opportunity for me to develop digital literacies by moving through the these four stages.
- Concrete experience: Did not know where to look when presenting myself online caused a disastrous self-presentation.
- Reflective observation: I would like to perform well at the course but in this situation the use of a digital tool became a barrier.
- Abstract conceptualization: Being stressed out if I am not comfortable with the technology seems to be a pattern to me.
- Active experimentation: To become more confident about using digital tools, I will try to use more such tools in my daily work.
Sortland, B. (red.). (2017). Experts in Teamwork 2018 Handbook for village supervisors and learning assistants. Trondheim: Skipnes Kommunikasjon.