The idea of scaffolding the learning process regarding digital or Web “literacies” -as Belshaw calls them- (referring to the grammatical nonexistent plural of the word literacy a necessity as he considers there are many different aspects one needs to address in order to be digital literate. It is about multimodality, coding, remixing, searching, evaluating, curating, sharing, designing and, more) is in line with what Vygotsky calls zone of proximal development (ZPD). The idea is to deliberately create opportunities for students to move from where they are to where they want to be, to the next step so to say. But this idea of ZPD has different interpretations. I think that the ZPD is not a static space or an isolated moment within the classroom, rather it is an activity. I will explain it using a very simple analogy. When we teach our children to talk what we do is we talk with them all the time although they do not understand anything at the very beginning. But this don’t makes us hesitate to speak clear and frequently with them as we think it will serve as a stimulus for them to learn faster and better. So the activity we are in with them is that what generates in part the learning of the language which is further improved at school again through the activity of talking, sharing, reading, writing. My idea is that in this same manner we could teach digital literacies to teachers or to students. It is in doing stuff with and on the Web that the skills will improve and the new knowledge will be learned. That is why my main argument in my research is that designing and crafting your own learning environment is a good way to improve and learn to be more skilled in the Web.
Until next time!
Topics that are addressed in this document:
- The world -expertise beyond the institution: What can/should citizen demand of the HE sector on the Web era?
- Teaching & learning -taking advantage of the Web: Which areas of our teaching and learning do we need to change to respond to the opportunities of the Web?
- Research – what do we know we don’t know? Which areas where the Web and HE meet need to be better understood and why?
Take a look at the blog where more details can be found.
(…) we need the freedom to paint on the walls and nurture the ability to draw. That is so beautiful and so true. Freedom to think and act is an important feature we need to look for in the spaces we want to develop. Thanks for sharing Julian!
The relationship between environment and culture is an interesting one: i’ve been particularly lucky this week to work in a wide range of organisations, sporting different physical spaces, from the high tech glassy to the downright arty slum. In one of the more modern spaces, someone said something to me that really resonated: their space exposed the raw structure of the building, the girders, wires, cement and steel poked through. A staircase had been driven right through this structure, so you literally walked through the fabric of the building. He said ‘we deliberately have the space like this because it reminds us that our work is only 1% done, that we are creating the culture and future’.
I like this notion of architecture as community memory and provocation: the notion that by deliberately stripping out the finish we can provoke ourselves to achieve more.
But environments are not the only…
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