Friday, March 3, 2017

Digital Literacies

Week 1 - Digital Literacies

– who you are as an individual in the digital age and what characterizes your journey so far.
I would like to put my foot on the residents’ side in visitor–residents continuum. First, I used computers as a data processing machine and then used communication technologies as a visitor. Then, I used ICT for sharing knowledge and collaboration using different tools. Today, I use Wikiversity, Facebooks, Blogs, LMS as a visitor and residents. For instance, I read Facebook posts as a visitor and comment and post.
– you may think about your digital literacy and identity in your personal and professional life, how they are linked
My personal and professional life link with digital literacies. But, I am trying to live in two different digital worlds, but it is difficult. For, an example I will use Facebook for my personal life, but there are many students and colleagues. I added them as friends and don't want to have professional discussions through Facebook. I would reply only through Facebook for urgent matters and inform to contact through email or official LMS for further discussions.

– what ONL might mean for your development
Open network learning helps me a lot for my debelopment. As an information system developer, I have to learn practice and theory. First, I would say,  youtube videos are kind of open learning resources for me. Always I start to find technical know-how on youtube. If I want to ask questions, I use blog post or forum discussions. I prefer to start Wikipedia if I want to read textual descriptions.  But, I always try to verify the accuracy referring to citations will extend my search.
If I want to get a more advanced knowledge,  then I will try to go for open courses.

– your experiences from ONL so far
I found excellent solutions from open dissuasions forums. Some open forums are more useful than the official support tools (site or personal advice from agents). 

– other reflections on topic 1 readings and discussions

Digital Literacies

Literacy, Computer Literacy, and Digital Literacies
Before computers popular as a data processing machine  "literacy" used as a measure of education. The general definition of literacy was “ The ability to read and write.”[1] 
When we use books, pen, and pencils.  Peoples who can read and write considered as educated. Still, we use literacy rate to rank countries.

The computer used for personal use and information systems as a data processing machine and people use computers to read and right. Then the term "Computer literacy" introduced to measure the ability of use of a computer for reading and writing. There are many definitions, and a simple definition is   “(of a person) having sufficient knowledge and skill to be able to use computers; familiar with the operation of computers.”[2] This definition is an extension of the "literacy."

Today computers do not use just as a data processing machine but it has combined with communication technologies, and we called as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ICT consider as a key a tool that can be used for knowledge acquisition, creation, and sharing and collaboration (networking).  Therefore, the term computer literacy has expanded as Digital literacy and can be defined as "Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society”[3].
In my opinion, digital literacy is the ability to use ICT for knowledge acquisition, creation, sharing and collaboration with others.

Digital Footprints
The Visitor and Residents continuum can be linked with these four activities. Acquisition and creation are closer to visitors and sharing and collaboration closer to residents.  It is oblivious that acting as residents require more competencies, resources and give more benefits. 
But, when we use digital tools we are keeping our footprints intentionally or unintentionally.
There are two types of footprints. There are two types of footprints called passive and active. A passive digital footprint creates when accessing the data (even act as a visitor) and active footprint creates when sharing for others (when acting as residents).

Passive footprints
Passive footprints can be collected by the administrators when users access a site. For example, who visited a post, when and where and from what kind of computer etc.
Then, someone can trace student’s passive footprints to track what they are doing.

Active footprints
For example, a student can share a photo. They think they are sharing only the image but not. There may be metadata about the camera, location, and date, etc.

Footprints may have negative and positive consequences. For example, cookies are useful to remember user preferences. Also, LMS log data and page visits statistics can be used to understand students learning patterns. Benefits can predict and explain, but the problem is we cannot guess the impact of the downside. For example, you should allow accessing to your mobile when you install an app on your mobile phone. Then, the app can read your contacts, access network and sometimes control your camera too (required rights depend on the applications). We don't know how it can damage it if you not aware of it.  

I just like to post here an image I found on Facebook;

We should care about digital footprints in our personal use and should professionally handle as teachers. For example, we should concern about privacy policies when we select apps for classes.
But don't afraid, our physical life also has footprints, but we don't afraid since we have taken precautions. You can sleep in a luxury house if you have strong walls and doors and some other protections. You will decide the level of protection based on the value of your belongings and according to the home environment. There are many tools and considerations when you use digital tools. It is not worth to stop using digital tools but should know and use tools to protect your identity. 

Filter Bubbles
I like filters! I search eLearning in a browser and found About 188 000 000 results in one search engine and 156 000 000 in another. I don't know how to use the result. But, fortunately, the browser has an algorithm to prioritize the result and found useful links.  After reflecting on the first session of ONL171, I afraid about my perception of filters. Are filters hide some information?   Are they more valuable than prioritized result set? Those questions are difficult to answer
, but I think, I used some techniques unintentionally to avoid filter bubbles.

I would like to share my solution under some assumptions. Data triangulation is my suggestion. In research, we collect data from more than one source to verify the validity. When I search on Internet, I use more than one search engine. Also, select specific search tools to your search. For example, if you want to find a research article, the best place is your library search tool under the assumption that they search directly on research databases. 



  1. I find your comments about understanding the unintended risks of shared information really interesting and relevant to the digital world in which we are engaging. We don't really know what information apps are gathering through our cellphones and what access they have to our camera, microphone, and so forth. There are many wonderful aspects to technology, but there is also increased pressure to be available on and engage through so many different platforms. Can we really keep our private life private any more?

  2. Thanks for your comment and question. The simple answer is "No", but we can minimise the impact. The first and most important fact is you should aware that you cannot delete when you put something on the internet. In Sri Lanka, we say you cannot take back when you release an arrow and a word from your mouth. Now we should add our digital presence too.

    As we know, well protected information systems hacked. Then, how we can trust our computers. If you are famous the risk is high. But, we should compare the risk over benefit. For example, I consider about the content of my hone when I install an app in my phone. I have scanned my all educational certificate and stored a a cloud. Someone can access them if they break protection (absolutely can if someone want). Then, I should compare the risk of storing my personal date and compare and benefit.

  3. Interesting discussion! We can not be private any more as an individual, but I think we should discuss this issue more as teachers. What kind of systems do we use in our courses? Do we select system that expose the students' activities as little as possible to parties outside the university? We need to be aware of students with "hidden identity" but I guess it will be more and more important to think of the students' possibilities to avoid sharing their private data.

  4. Hi Ulf
    Thanks for your comment and sorry about late response.
    I see, it is difficult balance the privacy and collaboration. If we select a system to implement more collaboration the risk is going higher. For example, using Facebook. If we consider a low risk then may be lower level of collaboration. For instance, LMS.
    Yes, it is a challenge of selection of system as teachers.

    Thank you

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  6. I really like the example with the bag of apples! I see that when the picture was taken, it had been shared over 250 000 times and was still spreading over several continents. It is such a good illustration of the digital footprint.


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