(Another colleague, another friend...but this session, regardless of who'd be teaching it, strikes very near and very dear...)
Tracy works for a Medical Center/System...so do I. So it's only natural that I already know her plight...her struggle: How do we get folks who are medically literate...clinically literate...into being technologically literate? She's done her research on emerging technologies, practices, and world resources combined and landed on some rock solid solutions.
DIGITAL MEDIA LITERACY CONTINUES ITS RISE IN IMPORTANCE
Easy quote to say, but what skills constitute digital literacy? They're not well-defined or universally taught. Progress continues to be slow to define these skills, but technology develops at breakneck speed. Tracy polled the audience, and we're not technology masters ourselves...we test them, but are slow to adopt them. But if it's so important, who IS going to champion this?
It's evolved over time...it was Visual Literacy in the 60's, Computer Literacy in the 90's, and so on. And it's done so because it's evolved (technology) more and more and it's being interpreted differently over time. In 1997, a book by Gilster (Digital Literacy) took a stab at it, but tried eleven times to define the core concept of the book.
So, if an author of the book on it can't define it, what do we need to do?
SKILLS FOR DIGITAL LITERACY
1.) Play - The video of the old couple is PRICELESS, but indicative of what we need to do with the tools and means we hold so near and dear. Play. It's not going to break, and you're going to learn.
2.) Simulate - She uses Grand Theft Auto V as an example. You want to bike, you go into the city area. You want to go in a boat, you go to the ocean. Making connections between real and digital.
3.) Multitasking - Shift your focus when you need, focus when you need to.
4.) Collective Intelligence - Going out 'there' together to find the info we need together. If we can play, multitask, and simulate together, it only reinforces the effect.
5.) Judgment - Be aware. Be smart. Be critical. Just because an ad says Costco will give you $500 in free stuff if you like their page doesn't mean that's going to happen. Also, the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus example...
6.) Transmedia Navigation - Bieber put his video on YouTube years ago...Usher found it...look what happened. @ShitMyDadSays is another classic. Millions of followers combined between these two alone...going from media form to media form.
7.) Networking, Negotiation, Performance, Approval (lumped these together)
TOOLS FOR DIGITAL LITERACY
1.) Connect2Compete/EveryoneOn - Discount computers, free computer classes, free internet offerings to get people on line...to get them putting their hands on technology. How to create a website, what is a blog, etc.
2.) NetLiteracy - Daniel Kent at 16 started this program, helping students, Seniors learn, know, and perform digitally. Recognized by two presidents for his work. Copious amounts of lesson plans, all free. Offers a student program in which students repair PCs for free/community service.
3.) Microsoft - "Digital Literacy Standard Curriculum (version 3)" is currently available online for free. Lesson plans broken down into objectives, all broken out into online courses. Did I mention it's all free?
4.) Google - "In Education" is an online educational hub, covers everything from kid's digital literacy through adult.
5.) Apple - Has a program utilizing Challenge Based Learning in which students/course takers can take it, do it, and post their solution (thus embracing the social angle).
6.) Global Community Foundation (GCF) - Funded by Goodwill, there are over 750 free courses online through GCF...everything from Basics to specific devices, Social Media to How to Search Classified Ads.
7.) International Computer Driving License (ICDL) - Seemingly limitless online and on site courses offered...
(Long story short, the examples continued...an incredible amount of free resources available online...definitely amazed at how much is out there.)
The resources are there. End of story. Anyone claiming that we can't train 'our people' on computers, technology, and digital literacy overall. Personally, I'm insanely happy that this was Tracy, as we share Healthcare as an arena of 'our issues'. I'm also comforted in hearing the concerns of everyone in the room - Some train teachers, others teach college, still others touch different audiences. What a common thread we all have in lacking Digital Literacy/Awareness. One of the best things we can do is look at how other areas are touching on Digital Literacy...sure, we work in healthcare, but how are Digitally Illiterate high school teachers being addressed? There are tips, means, methods, and solutions all around...all we have to do is look.