em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LA-ble or Hesitancy and “digital literacy”

Image found on Wikipedia: Hopf Fibration and released into the public domain by its author, Davidarichter

I’ve stayed away from this blog for the past 2 days or so. I’ve been reading a crime novel, making a necklace, playing with my dog, doing suduko, unpacking and organizing, facebooking, and tweeting – basically keeping my mind superficially busy so that it could be free to work away on some issues in the background.

The reflection was triggered by comments on my last post.

I teach, learn, and live with digital technologies. I do think it important to pass on skills and knowledge regarding these technologies to my students and colleagues. So, why am I unsettled?

On Monday,Keith Gessen mused,

Nice thing we’ve got going here, this “pro-internet,” “anti-internet” debate.

(go read his post to see what he was going on about).

And as I read his post it made me think that this has all become a debate – a this vs. that – and it’s so not about that. It is, however, a resistance to the growing feeling I have that ‘digital literacy’ (see bottom of post for more on that) is becoming confused with the goal.

I teach, learn, and live with digital technologies, among other technologies, because I have found them to help me in my goal mission – YES MISSION – to help kids learn…

…that kindness is a trait to be valued.

…that making hateful comments like these ones have repercussions that go deep into our souls.

…that accountability and responsibility for one’s actions is heavy heavy….but, heavy.

…how to seek and find the positive in life.

…that they can find their highest selves

…that they can help others to find their highest selves too

…what it is to be a part of a community

And I can’t forget
…that they need to hang on to a sense of humour.

Ease with technology needs to be could be (depending on our immediate needs ;) ) integrated into our learning selves, but it isn’t THE goal.


A virtual high five goes out to these posts I read earlier today:
Learning, Motivation, and Technology by Steve Ransom
Motoko by Keith Gessen
Resources for Community Managers by Connie Bensen
Workplace Literacy by Ken Allen

ps – The term ‘digital literacy’ is starting to creep me out. I laughed OUT LOUD when I read Doug Belshaw’s tweet this morning. It was a good one:

Go back to where you were

Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams

If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn – Charlie Parker
Ok, it’s way about time I take a good hard look at my wishes, hopes, and dreams. How can I move towards a better future unless I define what I wish, hope, and dream for it?

I know that I can be a good leader. I’ve been floating for the past month or so though. I’ve been letting things slide in my classroom, I’ve been hiding from my work, I haven’t been digging deep into the planning of what my students need or what I need.

On Monday I will be back to teaching after this holiday break, and on Tuesday I will be back in the classroom myself as I begin my PhD studies.

My wishes, hopes, and dreams?

Courage – to keep pushing the envelope with my kids and myself. To not let ourselves get too comfortable because I know that true learning needs discomfort. And to stand up tall in the discomfort and plug away even harder.

Strength – to keep my vision clear and to not let it be chipped away by criticism (“that’ll never work”)

Structure – to keep my focus I will need to build and maintain a solid structure to help balance my PhD work, my work with the kids, my personal life

Fun and Laughter – without that, all else is useless :)

buddha watching over Fern

I’ve also been thinking of a recent conversation I was in over at EdTech Journeys about coaching. I love the coaching I receive from my online community, but I also feel the need for some personal interaction – a phone call, a meeting over coffee…on some days over something a bit stronger.

One of the wonderful things about blogging is communicating with others all over the world. I realize, though, that I have not encountered anyone else from Montreal here! It’d be lovely to meet with some of my blogging friends in person, to add another dimension to the reading/writing relationship that I cherish, to add depth to the conversations, to add some soul.

I’ll leave this post now, thinking about how to turn that last dream into something real…and welcoming any other suggestions…feeling reflective at the beginning of this new year

Metamorphosis, no better metaphor for this.

mp3 No Compromises originally downloaded from: FREE THE P! Palestine Takes NYC’s East Village by Storm, article by Remi Kanazi, The Electronic Intifada, 17 October 2005 is from www.freethep.com compilation which is a fundraiser for the film Slingshot Hiphop ! Many thanks to Invincible for allowing its use here.


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