I came across an article by Howard Rheingold where he asks, how many of us have learned to use digital media and networks effectively, reasonably, credibly, collaboratively, civilly, humanely? Question is full adjectives and inspires to any responsible adult to make, at least, a pronouncement. How schools are contributing to these 21st century literacies? In our conception they are not occurring in schools on any significant scale, until we as educators, step out of our teaching role and immerse ourselves in the 21st world as learners. The future of our young family as much as age school children, is digital, global and networked.
We have to stop seeing students online activity as ‘a dangerous neighborhood where their identities can be stolen, a morass of spam and porn, misinformation and disinformation, urban legends, hoaxes, and scams?’ This is part of the reason for inaccessibility and filtering; for the rules prohibiting the use of online games and mobile phones at school. We talk about integrating technologies into the curriculum, but we still view these technologies as the enemy , writes accordingly Brave New World blog.
Let's have a discussion on this essential questions for the future of education presented by Howard Rheingold in his opening paragraph:
- Will our grandchildren grow up knowing how to pluck the answer to any question out of the air, summon their social networks to assist them personally or professionally, organize political movements and markets online? Will they collaborate to solve problems, participate in online discussions as a form of civic engagement, share and teach and learn to their benefit and that of everyone else? Or will they grow up knowing that the online world is a bewildering puzzle to which they have few clues, a dangerous neighborhood where their identities can be stolen, a morass of spam and porn, misinformation and disinformation, urban legends, hoaxes, and scams?
Difference can be made with literacy. A good understanding of this paradigm includes norms of behavior(ciberbullying is central here), the skills of encoding and decoding blogs, wikis, forums, vlogs, microblogs, search engines, text messages, and whatever a smart young person brings up tomorrow when he (or she) wakes up, after being late at his basement or stayed over sharing some tricks with his hacker camaraderie!
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