Technology Literacy?

Flickr photo by Jonathan D. Colman

I will likely be interviewed by phone for a magazine at some point today, probably in an airport somewhere.  The question will be, “Can you tell me about technology literacy?”

My immediate response is that technology literacy is not an issue.  Our students are coming into our classrooms with a seemingly uncanny ability to use and learn to use new technologies.  They’ve had lots of practice.  Each new video game that they learn challenges them to master some new skill.  Even though the Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants comparison is often abused, I think that there is a clear distinction between people who have grown up with technology, and those of us who have watched technology grow before our eyes.

That said, there is certainly an issue of great concern, in that there are many children who are coming into our classrooms with no experience with contemporary information and communication technologies (ICT), and this is a huge problem.  But generally speaking, technology skills seem to be happening.

What is the issue, in my opinion, are the ways that our information landscape have changed, as a result of ICT, and the new skills required to work that information environment to accomplish goals.  Basic literacy has changed…

  • What it means to be a reader when information is networked,
  • What it means to be a processor of information when information is digital,
  • What it means to be a communicator when we are overwhelmed by information,
  • and the ethical implications of information empowerment.

I’m posting this at 06:30 EST and should be landing in Chicago in about three hours.  Would love to read your feedback then…


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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.