Reflection 1: What is a Digital World?

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To understand the concept of a “digital world,” I conducted a digital audit of myself as recommended by Dr. Jennifer Howell. Upon reflection I realised that I use the internet for business transactions, shopping, entertainment, information searches, communication, and learning; devices such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of my everyday life ( see picture above). Digital technologies are redefining what it is to live and work around the world (Selwyn, 2012, p. 1). Therefore I concur with Dr. Howell’s (2014) explanation that a digital world is a world where modern technology is ubiquitous and integral to daily life, consequently changing our ideas of communication, and affecting our sense of place.

The pervasiveness of digital technology, means that digital fluency will become a prerequisite for obtaining jobs, participating meaningfully in society, and learning throughout a lifetime (Resnik, as cited in White, 2013; Howell, 2012, pp.11-13). By engaging with the reading material, I learned that there are varying levels of digital fluency. Digital immigrants such as myself, who have recently attempted to use technology, have skills and fluency that may not compare to digital natives, who are born in the digital age and are confident consumers of digital technology (Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008, p. 777; Helsper & Eynon, 2010, p. 504; Howell, 2012, p. 6; Prensky, 2001; Selwyn, 2009, p. 365). However, I learned that despite technology being embedded in their lives, young people’s skill and use of technology differ, as technology plays different roles in their home and school life (Bennett et al., 2008, p. 778; Howell, 2012, pp. 6,12; Selwyn, 2009, p. 372). Therefore, digital fluency outside school, does not guarantee digital fluency within an educational context.

The challenge for me, both as an educator and a digital immigrant, will firstly be to acknowledge that I must adapt to the needs of this digital world and secondly, to develop a positive attitude and aptitude towards emerging technologies to help build a strong digital pedagogy. This will enable me to engage students and build their digital fluency within an educational framework. Moreover, I will be able to meet the digital expectancy of the various stakeholders who express the need for students to be digitally fluent with skills that will enable them to contribute successfully, and participate confidently in the digital world.

Total number of words: 381 – In-text references: 53 = 328 words

Please note : The above photo is taken by myself, whilst conducting the digital audit. Therefore there is no reference.

References:

Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British journal of educational technology, 39(5), 775-786.

Helsper, E. J., & Eynon, R. (2010). Digital natives: where is the evidence? British educational research journal, 36(3), 503-520.

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Howell, J. (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/8a668af5-c192-4635-ab9b-d302c122bd6b

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1-6.

Selwyn, N. (2009). The digital native-myth and reality. Aslib Proceesings, 61(4), 364-379. http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1108/00012530910973776

Selwyn, N. (2012). Education in a digital world: Global perspectives on technology and education: Routledge.

White, G. K. (2013). Digital fluency: Skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Australian Council for Educational Research,Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning

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