I learn a lot from discussions on social media channels such as Twitter. Some might be aware that I established a chat for the European Distance and E-Learning Network
(EDEN) a couple of years ago, which is dedicated to discussions around technology supported learning in all sectors of education, learning and development. Known as #EDENchat, it has hosted over 30 one-hour discussions, and the entire list (and archives) can be found Storified on this website
Our most recent #EDENchat focused on digital competencies and digital literacies, and the conversation was dynamic and fast moving. I have already written extensively about digital literacies and have presented several keynotes at international conferences where it features heavily. Everyone in education it seems, is interested in what teachers and students need to acquire, to make sense of our digital world and to use digital tools effectively.
One of the key questions I posed on #EDENchat was to determine the difference between digital competencies and digital literacies. A number of thoughtful responses came back, but the general consensus was that literacy is about understanding, while competency leads to a mastery of that understanding (thanks to Alastair Creelman
for that response). This was further simplified by Simon Lancaster
who remarked: Digital literacy is about knowing how to do it and competency is about doing it well.
The follow up question was 'what digital competencies/literacies do you consider essential for university students? The responses came in thick and fast, including collaborative competence (probably a blog post in itself), identity management, self presentation, and navigating digital sources, filtering, selecting and assessing content for accuracy and veracity (thanks to Kandy Woodfield
). Digital reputation management was also discussed as well as critical reading and curation of content (via Sue Beckingham
Perhaps the best part of the discussion arose when I asked whether there was a specific 'best time' for digital literacies to be taught. Many responses said the same thing: If a child is using technology, they need to know how to manage their presence online, for safety and security reasons, as well as to make sense of the digital world. Conclusion: The best time to begin teaching digital literacies is when the child begins to use technology.
#EDENchat continues with a discussion around the future of universities, at 1900 UK time, on October 26th. The full schedule of #EDENchats is here
.Related postsWhat digital literacies?3 things you should know about digital literaciesDigital literacies in the age of remix
Photo by Steve Wheeler
Making sense of digital by Steve Wheeler
was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's