Down the rabbit hole with digital literacy!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.[1] It is  this wonderfully imaginative and chaotic book that comes to mind when I reflect upon my experience  on digital literacy , i.e. Topic 1 of ONL 171.  To state that I was overwhelmed and beyond my depth would be an understatement.  I followed the white rabbit (Alistair Creelman), out of intense curiosity, and literally fell down a rabbit hole of online platforms, PBL groups and adobe connect meetings.  Strange yet exciting and magical creatures!  I found myself in constant anxiety of missing group meetings because of the differences in time zones (I’m late! I’m late…. I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!),  and I felt like I had taken a seat at the Mad Hatters Tea Party with my PBL family featuring as the main characters….Do not ask who the Mad Hatter was!!!!

 Yet, just like Alice, I persisted.  I took a bite out of the caterpillar’s mushroom ( Mohamed and Lieza) which enabled me to grow…not to the extent that Alice physically did, but to the extent that I needed to grow for the purposes of appreciating the benefit of digital literacy in the  teaching and learning space.

 One ‘may learn a lot of things from the flowers’, in terms of understanding the social obligation of belonging to a team, i.e. PBL group.[2] You are only as strong as your weakest link, and as such you cannot afford to be the weakest link or else you pull the entire team down with you.  I have no intentions of being the Red Queen!!!  The interconnectedness between members of the group spanning across continents, on a Google community has in itself been the most beneficial source of digital literacy for me, on this particular course.

We discuss, investigate, problem solve and collaborate as a single unit, resulting in presentations  that could possibly be resourced and referenced.  It fascinates me that we are able to do this as cohesive unit, inspite of the physical separation of oceans, continents and professions between us.  This very idea of interconnectedness on digital platforms has enabled me to appreciate its potential for legal education. We have in effect contributed to digital literacy.

On a personal level, I found myself pushing boundaries on platforms that I would have otherwise felt insecure .  I found myself exploring APS and online programmes to put together an awesome group introduction.  I would have never known what the benefits of Smilebox[3] or Magisto[4] was, unless I had stepped out of the boat and walked on water!

I find myself gravitating from being a digital/online visitor to an online resident , and I am no longer intimidated by it[5]. Engaging in and adapting in this ‘Wonderland’ of sorts has been quite a cultural paradigm shift for me,[6] and a beneficial one at that!  With that having been said, I believe that these experiences would enable me to understand my law students better.  There is no better way to reach this online/digital generation, than on their own stage.

Needless to say, this experience has produced irrefutable evidence of the benefits of Digital Literacy to teaching and learning as a whole. With that said, I will paint the roses red, because the colour of Google + and Google communities are looking really appealing right now! Yes…I just typed that out smiling like a Cheshire cat!

[1] Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, New York:MacMillan. (1865).

[2] Swan, Karen, and Li Fang Shih. “On the nature and development of social presence in online course discussions.” Journal of Asynchronous learning networks 9.3 (2005): 115-136.

[3] http://www.smilebox.com/?utm_expid=59694859-491.rTOvQJdCQoWerUFXgoqXOQ.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.za%2F

[4] https://www.magisto.com

[5] Marc Prensky, 2001a, “Digital natives, digital immigrants,” On the Horizon, volume 9, number 5, at http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf, accessed 13 March 2017

[6] Henry Jenkins with Ravi Purushotma, Katherine Clinton, Margaret Weigel and Alice J. Robison, 2006. “Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21 Century,” Chicago: MacArthur Foundation. http://www.projectnml.org/files/working/NMLWhitePaper.pdf, accessed 13 March 2017.

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Author: frombabies2lecturehalls with Neetu Chetty

I am the Program Manager of Law at the IIE Varsity College Westville campus, running the School of Law. My research explores augmenting legal education through alternate pedagogies, make it more relevant, bridge building between academia and practice. My blogs draw on my real life experiences, associations and relationships in expressing my reflections. I don't see the world through rose coloured glasses but, I do step back and see the larger picture and consequences of it. I am a mom of 3, and so you will see how I gravitate from the personal to the reflective in my writing. I like being unconventional. Unconventional makes for exciting reading, experiences, strategies and innovations. Enjoy reading my blog!

11 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole with digital literacy!”

  1. Dear Neetu Chetty,
    This sounds like a very good start. Just keep going at the digital sources. I wish you best of luck with your strivings against digital fluency.
    Greger Lindberg
    ONL 151 (or whatever previous ONL course)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Neetu:-) I thoroughly enjoyed your analogy to Alice in Wonderland:-) And I agree this “Wonderland” certainly evokes a range of emotions, and has forced us to explore platforms we may otherwise not have, that we can now include in our tools as educators.

    Like

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