A 2016 Pew Research Center study indicates that the digital divide in the United States is not solely about access to technology; it also is about the ability to use technology to get what we need.1 What does digital readiness mean; applying cumulative knowledge to real-world situations. Having a tech or STEM-related degree does not ensure digital readiness.
How Can We Encourage Digital Agility in the Liberal Arts?
Digital pedagogy often creates opportunities for instructors to create non-disposable assignments—assignments that are not designed to be thrown away but rather have a purpose past being required.3
“We need to marry the best of our academic work with the best of edtech. In other words, what would it look like if education technology were embedded in the everyday practice of academic disciplines?”4
Project-based learning fits well within the curricular flexibility of the liberal arts. In project-based work, students apply what they are learning in the context of an engaging experience.
External-facing work offers students real situations where, if we imagine what digital agility looks like, they have to adjust to possible new digital environments and approaches.
Reflection provides a way for meaning-making to happen across individual assignments, projects, and classes. Without the chance to assemble assignments into a larger narrative, each experience lives in its own void.
How Can Institutions Build Systems-Level Support?
Liberal arts colleges in particular are interested in the ways they prepare graduates to be agile and critical in a digital world—as seen in the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Rubrics.
he Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework5 was followed by more formal conversations and the formation of a working group (including Carleton College,
Research has shown that 50 percent of college students spend a minimum of five hours each week on social media. These social channels feed information from news outlets, private bloggers, friends and family, and myriad other sources that are often curated based on the user’s interests. But what really makes social media a tricky resource for students and educators alike is that most companies don’t view themselves as content publishers. This position essentially absolves social media platforms of the responsibility to monitor what their users share, and that can allow false even harmful information to circulate.
“How do we help students become better consumers of information, data, and communication?” Fluency in each of these areas is integral to 21st century-citizenry, for which we must prepare students.
In English 202C, a technical writing course, students use our Invention Studio and littleBits to practice inventing their own electronic devices, write instructions for how to construct the device, and have classmates reproduce the invention.
The proliferation of mobile devices and high-speed Wi-Fi have made videos a common outlet for information-sharing. To keep up with the changing means of communication, Penn State campuses are equipped with One Button Studio, where students can learn to produce professional-quality video. With this, students must learn how to take information and translate it into a visual medium in a way that will best benefit the intended audience. They can also use the studios to hone their presentation or interview skills by recording practice sessions and then reviewing the footage.
more on digital media in this IMS blog http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=digital+media
Definitions of digital literacy can include the ability to use and access digital devices, but studies from the past decade tend to deepen this definition. A commonly cited definition from Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel asserts that digital literacy is “shorthand for the myriad social practices and conceptions of engaging in meaning making mediated by texts that are produced, received, distributed, exchanged etc., via digital codification.”
More recently, scholars including Jennifer Sparrow have suggested even adopting the term digital fluency instead of literacy in order to capture how students may need the “ability to leverage technology to create new knowledge, new challenges, and new problems and to complement these with critical thinking, complex problem solving, and social intelligence to solve the new challenges.”
instructional designers are key players who could take a more visible role in higher education to support educators in bringing explicit instruction on digital literacy engagement into their classes. University staff in instructional design and educational/faculty development spaces consult with instructors, lead workshops, and develop support documentation on a regular basis. People in these roles could be more empowered to have conversations with the instructors they support around building in particular lessons
Douglas Belshaw can be a source of inspiration for understanding how his essential elements of digital literacy may contribute to the development of students’ digital fluencies. In particular, some practices may include:
Integrating the use of different applications and platforms so that students obtain practice in navigating these spaces, learning how to locate relevant and reliable information. For example, guiding students to specific databases that provide articles, books, etc., for your discipline may improve information and digital literacy. This is critical because most students default to Google search and Wikipedia, which may not be where you want them to explore topics.
Developing student’s ability to curate content and how to follow academic integrity guidelines for citations and references.
Establishing the norms and purpose for effective communication in a digital academic space.
Digital Fluency: Preparing Learners for 21st Century Digital Citizenship Eighty-five percent of the jobs available in 2030 do not yet exist. How does higher education prepare our learners for careers that don’t yet exist? One opportunity is to provide our students with opportunities to grow their skills in creative problem solving, critical thinking, resiliency, novel thinking, social intelligence, and excellent communication skills. Instructional designers and faculty can leverage the framework of digital fluency to create opportunities for learners to practice and hone the skills that will prepare them to be 21st-century digital citizens. In this session, join a discussion about several fluencies that comprise the overarching framework for digital fluency and help to define some of your own.
Dr. Jennifer Sparrow, Senior Director for Teaching and Learning with Technology and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at Penn State. The webinar will take place on Friday, November 9th at 11am EST/4pm UTC (login details below)
how DF is different from DLiteracy? enable students define how new knowledge can be created through technology. Not only read and write, but create poems, stories, if analogous w learning a language. slide 4 in https://www.slideshare.net/aidemoreto/vr-library
communication fluency. be able to choose the correct media. curiosity/failure fluency; creation fluency (makerspace: create without soldering, programming, 3Dprinting. PLA filament-corn-based plastic; Makers-in-residence)
immersive fluency: video 360, VR and AR. enable student to create new knowledge through environments beyond reality. Immersive Experiences Lab (IMEX). Design: physical vs virtual spaces.
Data fluency: b.book. how to create my own textbook
rubrics and sample projects to assess digital fluency.
What is Instructional Design 2.0 or 3.0? deep knowledge and understanding of faculty development. second, once faculty understands the new technology, how does this translate into rework of curriculum? third, the research piece; how to improve to be ready for the next cycle. a partnership between ID and faculty.
On this week’s Future Trends Forum, Bryan Alexander and Jennifer Sparrow, the Senior Director of Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State University, will explore the significance of media and digital literacy, especially in the era of fake news.
Jennifer and Bryan will further dissect how digital literacy and fluency differ, and why this difference is important.