mashing digital literacy and what my students Tumblr pages taught me

so two ideas to be mashed up today, so I can think through my ideas for a blog class in the Fall.

1. digital literacy narratives – there is a lot of power in narratives. In this case, i’ve been reading a lot about empowering students through their class blogs (which in theory become professional development blogs and multimedia showcases) to discuss their own personal digital literacy narratives as a way for self-reflection on their own digital learning. I’ve been considering this, and obviously felt writing my own first was step one to understand the process.

2. Tumblr – so my current capstone students used Tumblr “to demonstrate research” with the assignment written to allow them to explore the idea in their own way. Now that they’re presenting their ideas, i’m blown away with their personal explorations of technology and research. Importantly, many realize previous tech experience helps, but they still have to figure out how to use the technology in a way school expects and that benefits school. These are hard expectations to determine for seniors on the verge of graduation, so the question we’re all raising now is “how do we teach freshmen to do this?” because clearly we’re not currently succeeding.

What this is showing me, that’s reflecting on point 1, is that students have overall digital literacy narratives, especially ones that relate to the internet, but it seems what we’re really asking with that question is how did you learn to use the internet, and then how did you learn to adapt those skills/understandings/sense-makings to school settings? But what happens if they haven’t quite figured that out yet, will a literacy narrative assignment help?

So the question i’m considering as I work through my assignments for the Fall – how do I ask students to reflect on this very complex idea from the beginning of their blog, and the beginning of the semester, when it’s taken the current students 15 weeks to understand the complexity of their own sense-making? Or do I have 2 literacy narratives, one in the beginning, one as a final reflection considering learning from the course and new understandings of the complexity of the internet?

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