It's been an exciting and interesting morning so far "attending" the HASTAC 2010 Conference... I really appreciate being a part of the conversations, even when I'm hundreds of miles away from the presenters and participants. I love how participatory and open the conference has been (despite some of the Google Wave boo-boo).
Thought I'd post some of my tweets here on Cathy Davidson and David Theo Goldberg's talk on "The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age." To start off, here are some of my notes and tweets about their conversation. I reckon another blog post will likely come out of the notes and tweets about the session, perhaps in a post-conference reflection.
I love what Davidson and Goldberg say about digital literacy -- to be digitally literate means being able to be more self-reflexive about the assumptions one makes in the use and capacity of technology, and that self-reflexivity is "what the humanities contributes to any conversation." Davidson argues that, without self-reflexvity, we can't really talk about technology: we need understandings of technology and of our place in the system.
In thinking about learning and thinking in the digital age, I wonder: in what ways can we foster and encourage self-reflexivity and critique in the university classroom? What digital tools (blogs, wikis, social networks, etc.) can we use -- and how do we use them -- to foster self-reflexivity? In addition, what kinds of activities will foster such critical self-reflexivity within the physical walls of the classroom, and how does collaboration among peers work towards forms of reflexivity and critique?
Some notes I jotted down from Davidson and Goldberg's session (most of which are paraphrased or verbatim):
Traditional forms of literacy and digital literacy:
- Goldberg: Some of the necessity of traditional forms of literacy (such as reading, writing, arithmetic, content-based knowledge, historical knowledge, and so on) are being eroded by the new technological facility and access that make the reach for content knowledge easy -- one can go online and find something... but assessment is an issue (who and what you can trust)
- Shifts in literacy:
- Knowing how to look up content (not simply knowing the content) -- knowing how to be facile with the technology and how to put it into good use
- Learning with wise judgement -- what sources/authorities to trust, and which are better than others
- Davidson: Students nowadays cannot imagine the world of knowledge without the Internet -- having digital sources is deep in the grain of students' thinking, and to have no digital sources at all scares them
- Davidson: self-reflexivity is what the humanities contributes to any conversation; without that, we cant really talk about technology - we need understandings of the technology, and of our place in the system.
- Howard Rheingold begins his class in computer literacy and attention by telling students to shut their laptops, cellphones, and eyes, and he has students sit there for 5 minutes just to track their own minds and thoughts -- Davidson observes that it provides a great moment of self-reflexivity for any subsequent discussion for what it means to then open your laptop, your cellphones, and of course, open your eyes.
- Davidson: Weve always worked and learned collaboratively
- What is distincitive and new is how you do collaboration with people who you know coincidentally online, and whom you know by online interaction -- what is unique is also the sustained fashion of such interactions separated by thousands of miles, diff ages, and whose identity you may not even know
- How do you collaborate when the basis of collbaboration is access to the Internet?
- What to add to the formation of collaborative communities: critique of institutions (which is an integral part of institutions)
- Goldberg: Engagements bet. the local and the extended, the there and elsewhere, the virtual and the physical... the fact that thinking is going on as production is 24/7
- Institutions have to respond to these kinds of challenges; inevitably, otherwise, the institutions themselves will be out of time
- Davidson: Standardization is a cry for help
- Goldberg: How do you assess collaborative undertaking?