T1E1:  Going into the course – (thoughts before we start Topic 1)

I am starting this course, I go in with a little bit of apprehension. 
Actually to be truthful huge apprehension.  I have various questions, doubts and thoughts:

  1.  A lot of pressure is put on us as educators.   So where
    do I find the time to write a blog? 
    Tweeting (not that I have done it) is probably faster.  But how do I engage my students? 
  2. Supervision of postgraduate
    students is one on one, here we are more interested in peer review.  What will a blog add to the students’
  3. What is a good
    statistical blog?  Interesting court
    cases, statistics about sport?
  4. How do you keep
    somebody’s attention?
  5. By being brief?  What is the definition of brief?
  6. By being Catchy? 
  7. How do I teach a
    learner to think critically?  On the web
    not all is peer reviewed.
  8. Digital learning
    is not accessible for everybody.  How does
    one make it accessible and fair? 
  9. Internet access? Broadband?
  10. Hardware (iPad, computer)?
  11. Smartphone? 
    Will a specific app take less broadband?
  12. I am also
    interested in adult learning (adults in disadvantaged communities with limited
    education). How does one implement digital ‘learning’ for such adults?  May be using visualization?
  13. How do we implement digital learning
    and still educate learners to write coherently and not in hypertext?
  14. Privacy and being visible.  Do I want to be more visible on the internet?  I want to keep my private life separate from
    my professional life.  Also by exposing
    my students to a digital platform I wonder: 
    Is it ethically correct to expose them to a digital platform, where they
    might come across ‘marketing hackers’ who can expose them to advertisements and
    links that influence the way they think?

T1E2:   After two weeks of Topic 1: online participation and digital literacy

What a mind-blowing two weeks –

#online participation,  #digitial literacy,

#digital citizen, #visitors vs  residence

#digital divide #digital tools

#technically adept

#tools #places #spaces

So many views and blogs/policy documents on what is  ‘digital literacy’. One such definition is from the JISC (2014)  guide on developing digital literacy:

Digital literacies are those capabilities which
fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.

From a practical perspective:  You can’t be digitally literate if you do not have:  hardware (PC, iPad, tablet, laptop, smart phone), software/tools/platforms/apps, internet and an audience?  

first thing our learners do in orientation, is a computer literacy course.  This course is a building block for learners
to become technically adept; their skills spectrum will fall somewhere between that
of  a  ‘visitors’ and ‘residence’  (White and Le Cornu, 2011) . Without much effort
most of them  will manage hardware and tools,
and interact with the tool/platform.   This is the easy part, but how do we teach
them about things that are not obvious or are intangible? 

  1. How to think
    critically about the information they find, how to distinguish between good,
    solid information and completely untrustworthy information?
  2. Teach them that
    online participation opens them up to ‘hackers’ stealing and selling their
  3.  Teach them that online participation makes
    them the ‘target’.  They will be bombarded
    with hyperlinks, advertisements etc., in order to channel and influence their
  4. To use digital
    platforms ethically.

As an educator how do I encourage online participation  if we have such a large  ‘digital divide’?  Even now the access to digital hardware and tools is very limited for some people.  In South Africa the ICT Development Index (IDI) is only 3 to  4, but the highest in Africa (ICT Development Index (IDI) ).  Comparison to the rest of the world is shown in figure 1. It is clear that most of the world is still far behind the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Figure 1: ICT development index 2017 map from index.html#idi2017map-tab, methodology of how index is calculated


ICT Development Index (IDI) , Pages/publications/ mis2017methodology.aspx

Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide. Available here

White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors
and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Available here

Topic 1 – Online participation and digital literacy