Paul Bouchard asked me to give you access to the references that he used for his talk on ‘network literacy’. You can find the link here and I added them in the wiki area for this week on context as well.
As part of the Research on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), researchers are using tools within the course to collect information on challenges experienced in participating and/or fully engaging with the resources provided in the Critical Literacies 2010 course. The course Moodle discussion forum will serve such a purpose. Questions will be posted in the general forum with a link to a survey which encourages further reflections at what is now the mid-way point in the course. Learn more about it here…
To me critical literacies are the abilities and competencies people need to function well in a changed learning environment. The learning environment is much more open that it used to be when institutions guarded it. The institution would make sure our information we accessed was reliable; they would get an educator to organize and structure the learning activities and learning communications, and help to make meaning by creating an atmosphere conductive to thinking, by asking relevant questions about resources provided.
All this has changed now. The learner is expected to be actively engaged in the activities of finding resources and validating information; be more of a researcher than a student. People have to find other people to communicate with and initiate contact. Create and publish resources. Set out their learning goals, sequence the steps to take on the learning pathway to achieve learning outcomes.
People need to understand how others have produced resources; how they sequenced steps in their arguments. There are different syntaxes now that require different analytical abilities to validate the resources: different formats, such as video, require different analytical skills. As Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe video shows, it is possible to say something completely different with the same video footage if the order of the shots is changed. Producers have a choice in how they represent information.
The way information is organized is also changing. From taxonomies, as is the case in libraries to folksonomies as is the case by using tags to make relations between information. Shirky advocates a tagging system as he argues that human context is the main denominator in the meaning of these connections.
He says: ‘This is what we’re starting to see with del.icio.us, with Flickr, with systems that are allowing for and aggregating tags. The signal benefit of these systems is that they don’t recreate the structured, hierarchical categorization so often forced onto us by our physical systems. Instead, we’re dealing with a significant break — by letting users tag URLs and then aggregating those tags, we’re going to be able to build alternate organizational systems, systems that, like the Web itself, do a better job of letting individuals create value for one another, often without realizing it’.
You might argue that this makes for a much more complex learning environment than we have been used to in traditional formal education. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. As Kilpi highlighted recently: this complexity could enrich our learning. We shouldn’t try to avoid complexity, as in the complex connections lies the learning.
I am a little behind and am still thinking about change. I have been following your discussions on change in the forum, listened to Dave and carefully read Stephens article on patterns of change and kept reasonably quiet as it all seems to deal with how change is occurring in a very objective way, distant from human beings, rather than to go into much depth as to how it affects human beings in their learning journeys. “Change’ very much upsets the apple-cart of people’s lives; it affects their level of confidence and their motivation to get involved in activities. Adult educators would argue that it is a trigger to personal transformation.
I just went back to an article by Carl Rogers(that he first published in 1967) that talks about the interpersonal relationship in the facilitation of learning. He states: ‘We are, in my view, faced with an entirely new situation in education where the goal of education, if we are to survive, is the facilitation of change and learning. The only man who is educated is the man who has learned how to learn; the man who has learned how to adapt and change; the man who has realized that no knowledge is secure, that only the process of seeking knowledge gives the basis for security. Changiness, a reliance on process rather than upon static knowledge, is the only thing that makes sense as a goal for education in the modern world’ (Rogers, 2002,p.26).
In my view the ability to cope with change and embrace change are critical to human growth and development so are critical literacies. I like to see people as holistic human beings and we cannot dis-entangle technological change from other societal changes that influence change in people’s personal lives. I have added this post to week 2 general forum on change.