Monday, January 8, 2007

Technological Literacy.

Technology and literacy as an intertwined subject is something that's become very interesting to me. I first noticed this during my Methods II class a few semesters ago, in which I knew more than everyone else in the classroom about web site creation, blogging, and wikis - and this includes what the professor knew. I'm not trying to brag; no one knew anything. And the knowledge was intertwined; people had trouble setting up blogs (on Blogger, which I thought was very simple, but others were amazingly confused, including one friend who tried to post an entry to her account by commenting on her first entry). Keep in mind that with the exception of two other students in the class, everyone in the class was what the professor entitled a "digital native" -- alleged fluency in technology and computers. Imagine growing up in the United States, from the time of your birth, yet still not being able to speak English fluently - and you wanted to teach English. That's not being a "native." These were students who had been exposed to computers throughout their entire lives, yet I, a "digital immigrant," as the professor called me (the labels "digital immigrant" and "digital native" still irritate me) knew more about how to do basic things like find a web hosting company. The professor did the class a great disservice by not knowing enough about the topic, even about basics about what might be professional in terms of web site presentation. Not that I know too much about it, either, but I have at least a couple of ideas.

Every week day I get an e-mail from Inside Higher Ed, a web site that is probably interesting only to those who are involved professionally in education. I had a few days' worth of e-mails sitting around, and in reading some of the headlines, a few caught my eye, including an article regarding testing professors and librarians for technology literacy; another article's author opined that college students might be "techno idiots."

I think technological literacy is a subject I'm going to really study, possibly do some research on, etc. It's disturbing how little people know - especially future teachers.

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