It’s Week 2 of the Open course / MOOC?. So we are being asked to ‘Write a short blog post reflecting on what you found and your thoughts on Digital Footprints.’
I’d heard of Digital Footprints and I do Google myself, but writing this, in a reflective mood, I think my results show a lot of my professional accounts. Thinking of freshers this week who start University, I wonder how many students would know about this? Would this empower them to make better use of technology? Would it make them more digitally literate? Who’s role is this to teach students, in Universities that hide away from this topic as an institution because it’s too messy or difficult to cover. Would it be the role of a lecturer to cover or could a digital literacy or similar module be set up by a professional service like the library? Increasingly the average student will have a digital footprint from childhood or at least from their teenage years. I first came across the term digital literacy whilst working at Brunel, where I was an undergraduate. I met a man called Dr Doug Belshaw, who’d done a PhD in Digital Literacy, he’s put his PhD thesis as a book now, link is in my references below (Belshaw, 2011). Nik Peachey also makes a try at informing others of digital literacies with his book on the subject, which I have not yet read. (Peachey, n.d.) I was lucky to study Multimedia Technology and Design and so putting your work online and creating a portfolio / using technology to sell yourself was taught, discussed and we all had our websites (like the one I’m using to write this blog post).
I believe all teachers should be taught digital literacies. It should be part of PSHCE in School (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education). It should also be integrated into assessment at all levels in Schools and Colleges, so students come to University with a better idea of how to use technology for learning and issues that arise from digital literacies, such as the digital footprint.
Later this week I’ll complete Thing 4 and the Bonus, oh yes, I’m planning to stick with this MOOC in the name of learning and reflection!
Belshaw (2011). The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. Available online: http://digitalliteraci.es/