Episode 22: (Data Bites) Topological Dangers of Digital Literacy

On this episode of Data Bites we have a confession to make! That is, on Monday’s episode we gave a definition of “Digital Literacy” that encompassed five subareas descriptive of the notion. The confession we need to make is that there are well over 100 different definitions of Digital Literacy, and there is no general consensus about the best one.

On top of that, on Monday, we discussed the challenges of training generations that are not digital natives in the ways relevant to some notion of digital literacy. However, this discussion of education, while important, does not take into account nearly half the world that lacks even basic internet access.

So, today’s Data Bites presents the many topological challenges associated with the complex notion of Digital Literacy and asks the question whether this notion is really the hallmark of citizenship in the 21st Century!

To keep up with the podcast be sure to visit our website at datacouture.org, follow us on twitter @datacouturepod, and on instagram @datacouturepodcast. And, if you’d like to help support future episodes, then consider becoming a patron at patreon.com/datacouture!

Music for the show: Foolish Game / God Don’t Work On Commission by spinmeister (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/spinmeister/46822 Ft: Snowflake

Show Notes:

Welcome to data couture, the podcast about data culture at work at home,
and on the go. I’m your host, Jordan Bohall.
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Welcome to data couture. I’m your host Jordan. And on today’s data bytes. Well, we’re going to talk about a little confession I have to make, namely, on the Monday episode, why didn’t give you the full picture on what digital literacy really is. In fact, I give a definition that accounts for five sub definitions for digital literacy. But in fact, in the literature, there’s well over 100, or more different definitions of digital literacy. And by that I mean, you could, for example, split up digital literacy into digital identity, digital rights, digital literacy itself, digital communication, digital emotional intelligence, digital security, digital safety, and digital use.

And each one of these have at least three different sub areas. For example, under digital identity, you could think about digital entrepreneurship, digital co creation, digital citizen, underwrites could think of internal intellectual property rights privacy, under digital literacy itself, you could think of computational thinking, content creation, critical thinking, with digital communication, you could think about online collaboration, online communication, digital footprints, you see what I mean. And this is just scratching the surface. So what I propose is that we think of digital literacy not as a single all encompassing term. But instead, think of digital literacy. literacy is multiple types of literacy ease, as a function of what it means to be able to survive in the 21st century.

And so, again, with digital literacy is you can split that up into, you know, three or more different sub categories, such as universal literacy, creative literacy, literacy across disciplines. Of course, with universal you can think of that as just basic familiarity with using digital tools, such as various office software, being able to manipulate images or various usage of cloud based apps and content. With creative literacy, that’s more of the encompassing universal literacy. Plus, you know, the more challenging tech skills that lead to the production of richer content, which can include video editing, audio creation, just like podcasting, animation, and then various understandings of computational devices, hardware, programming, etc.

And then, of course, the cross disciplinary literacy kind of takes both of these and uses them for good, whether that’s personal good or good for a company or what have you. My point is, with all these different types of digital literacy definitions, there’s something that’s more fundamental than this. And that’s the necessary underpinnings of what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century and perhaps beyond. And while I pointed out certain generations like the new Gen alpha Gen, Zed, the millennials, were more or less digital natives were used to these technologies, we more or less grew up with them. And then I compare that to older generations, who had to learn all these things as they were coming out as they became new. Well, that’s a naive approach. Again, this just I mean, I I’m being very classist in a way because I’m just thinking about the United States. But of course, you know, this applies to various countries and Europe and South America and Asia. But it doesn’t account for the divide between those with access and those without the haves and the have nots. Turns out that across the world, I think the status only 53 or 54% of the world even has access to the internet, let alone to all these various digital technologies, these new technologies of the 21st century. So that creates a bigger problem, not only do you have a generational divide, but then you also have a socio economic or an access divide. And so if we’re thinking of digital literacy as what it means to be a citizen and the 21st century, well, we’re automatically creating these barriers to entry for people who don’t have access to the fundamental aspects of what it takes to be digitally literate, namely things like the internet access to technology, access to some sort of method to learn how to use these various technologies.

And so what I want to talk today about in this data bytes is, what does it mean to be a 21st century citizen? is digital literacy. Really? What what we mean? Is that really the the hallmark of this new century, because to me, it just seems like yet another way to divide up people who have opportunity and those that don’t. And as much as I love all the various aspects of digital literacy, and you know, I’m actively pushing for it in my own company in my own life, and what have you. There’s also this it’s not really guilt, but it’s it’s this uneasiness that I this unease that I feel because I see this divide growing between certain people who have the ability to interact with these digital technologies and all these other people, these billions of people quite literally, who don’t have access to it. So that does that imply that they’re not citizens of the 21st century?

I don’t know. I am having a hard time with it. So, to wrap up for this small data bites, I want you to ask yourself, what what is digital literacy? How does it apply to my everyday life, your everyday life? And how does it define who we are as a people in a global sense, and doesn’t really matter? Talk to you soon. That’s it for the show. Thank you for listening. And if you liked what you’ve heard, think consider leaving a comment or like down below. Stay up to date on everything data concern, be sure to follow us on Twitter at data couture pod to consider becoming a patron@patreon.com forward slash data couture. Music for the podcast. It’s called foolish game. God don’t work on commission by the artist spin Meister used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, writing, editing, and production of the podcast is by your host, Jordan Bohall.

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