DEC Scan Journal : February 2012
It has been beneficial for the internet to be chaotic and ill-structured. This created increasing demand in human effort, willing participation and critical thinking. Ely (1999) suggested several things contributed to the climate of this success: • dissatisfaction with the status quo • knowledge and skills exist • availability of resources • availability of time • rewards and/or incentives exist • participation • commitment • leadership. Teachers creating a digital culture Many teachers have used these conditions for success, despite them being the exception not the norm. They have created a digital-culture expressed through TeachMeets <http://teachmeet.pbworks. com>, hashtag discussions on social media <https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23edchat> and hold un-conferences <https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/ blog/855037-ihateblogs/entry/1_1_learning_ unconference_2011>, outright rejecting the traditional professional formats. Web 2.0 allowed teachers to become collective authors of their own professional learning, maximising their chances for developing key information technol- ogy competencies to continue learning in the fast emerging digital education environment. To them, the internet is no longer about knowing web addresses, but knowing where to find other people who curate, exchange and analyse potentially useful ideas, methods and information to amplify, consolidate, collaborate and improve performance. This is not simply a new way to learn, it is an entirely new and significant culture. Growth Dalrymple (2010) suggested, Before the internet, most professional occupations required a large body of knowledge, accumulated over years or even decades of experience. In comparison, Hadjerrouit (2010) noted that digital literacy resources still meet with some resistance from teachers in the classroom environment. Resources, such as electronic textbooks for reading and wikis for information sharing, can be complex to implement as teachers struggle to learn how to use the systems and resources that are embedded inside digital culture. It is difficult to clearly define digital literacy because it is constantly changing, but it is possible to map a skills set that is currently needed. In a world connected though mobiles, virtual worlds, games and social media, limiting anyone's knowledge and skills to searching for information or using Microsoft Office are nowhere near sufficient to create a climate for personal and collective growth. Consider these: • Technology integration matrix <http://fcit.usf.edu/ matrix/matrix.php> • Info literacy models <www.shambles.net/pages/ learning/infolit/infolitmod> • Reading between digital lines <http://fno.org/ mar09/digitallines.html> • Kids' informal learning with digital media: an ethnographic iInvestigation of Innovative knowledge cultures <http://digitalyouth.ischool. berkeley.edu/report>. Constraint Many advocates for digital culture point to a profoundly liberal future made possible by Web2.0. Broad discussion ensues, from its potential for disrupt- ing school, creating the society of mind or harnessing the wisdom of the crowd. Advocates may be proven to be right. However, Larry Sanger (2010), co-founder of Wikipedia, believes: Reading, writing, critical thinking, and calculation, however much they can be assisted by groups, are ultimately individual skills that must, in the main, be practiced by individual minds capable of working independently. It is a reminder not to become focused on technical superi- ority of one technol- ogy over another, but rather acknowl- edge the increasing diversity of technologies and preferences of Volume 31, February 2012 15 <http://teachmeet.pbworks.com> <http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/report> Failing to develop a cultural heritage of using technology for learning ... presents a significant social-economic constraint for everyone.