The digital divide and digital participationIconSubmarine.png

Lecture, face-to-face
The digital divide, digital natives, and digital participation
Drop-in tech demo
Mobile learning, podcasting
ASSIGNMENT 1 DUE, Fri, 16 Mar, 12 noon

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Lecture. The digital divide, digital natives, and digital participation

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Preparation for this tute

1. Read and think about the following resources -- they're not massive and not difficult, but hopefully thought-provoking. There is a study guide for each reading further down this page. If you don't have time to read each resource, then at least read the study guides -- the study guides are designed to help you if you're time-poor. These resources are available on E-reserve for this unit

2. Listen to Young people online: Are we messing with their minds? available via Radio National's Big Ideas program (50 mins). Here's the blurb:
"Many parents say they're worried about what their children might be doing on the internet. A panel of researchers and mental health experts put their concerns into perspective. Highlights from Are we messing with their minds? A forum presented by the Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing."

TutorialIcon2.pngTutorial (we'll do this stuff in class)

4 big groups. yay. Forty-five-minute sessions, with a 10-minute break. Please don't take off at 4.35 pm -- we'll still have some important wrapping-up to do.


View it on VoiceThread

Meg's 'digital natives' session
Some provocations for the 'digital natives' session. As always, they contain assumptions and may be morally loaded.
  • Why do modern learners have new learning styles?
  • Will connectivism save the world?
  • How has Web 2.0 changed pedagogy?
  • What is wrong with technology being used mainly as a platform for delivery and admin?
  • What do digital natives need?
  • Why are their brains wired differently?
  • Why should generational thinking be a problem?


Study guide: Elliott (2009)

2829658906_0e94c592a8.jpgIf you only have time for one resource this week, then make it this one.

Elliott, Bobby. 2009. E-Pedagogy. Does e-learning require a new approach to teaching and learning? Available at Accessed 25 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit.

Key point: 'Connectivism' is a new pedagogy for a new age
  • Elliot goes through three main learning theories, that you have probably already come across (1 – 2):
    • Behaviourism — learning as behaviour
    • Cognitivism — learning as understanding
    • Constructivism — learning as knowledge construction
  • According to Elliot, Web 2.0 is changing the educational environment thanks to the ‘big ideas’ behind Web 2.0, namely 1) the foci on user-generated content, 2) the power of the crowd, 3) massive amounts of data, 4) the ‘architecture of participation’, 5) network effects, and 6) philosophies of openness (3). Is it really changing the environment, or is it just that it has the potential to do so?
  • He also points to the characteristics of ‘new learning styles’ of modern learners, such as active rather than passive learning, authentic vs contrived tasks, construction vs instruction, task vs process, just-in-time learning, collaboration vs competition, etc. (4). You might find some of this contentious and want to argue about it (nicely) in the tute …
  • He makes the argument that e-learning has the potential to “alter the nature of the teaching and learning transaction” (5) and that it also could possibly mitigate against the shortcomings of industrial- or mass-model schooling (5). Is this claim overblown or does the claim stand, it's just that we face systemic and structural challenges? Your thoughts?
  • Elliot joins the crowd calling for a change in how we think about pedagogy in light of new digital, ‘Web 2.0′ technologies and in particular states that connectivism, as a theory of learning as creating new connections, might help us address the shortcomings of current understandings. Is connectivism really a new theory of learning in and of itself? Or is it just constructivism in a different form?


Study guide: Maloney (2007)

external image connected-teacher-e.jpg

Maloney, Edward J. 2007. What Web 2.0 Can Teach Us About Learning. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jan 5, 2007. Vol. 53, Iss. 18; pg. B.26. Accessed 25 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit.

Key point: Web 2.0 provides us with the online framework for effective, constructivist pedagogies.
  • Maloney really rips into LMSs (learning management systems, e.g., WebCT, CLC, Moodle, Desire2Learn), stating that their primary function has been for content delivery and administration. As he says, “Course-management systems were not created to enhance learning, but to make it easier for a faculty member to deliver materials to students” in the form of an “advanced photocopier.” Ouch! What are the implications of this?
  • He notes that they were developed at a time when the internet was mainly a ‘read only’ phenomenon; now that we have more the collaborative, interactive, networking tools of Web 2.0, he says we can see a new focus on “innovation, creation, and collaboration, and an emphasis on collective knowledge over static information delivery, knowledge management over content management, and social interaction over isolated surfing.” What stands in the way?


Study guide: Hoover (2009)

external image google-bart.jpgHoover. 2009. The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 Oct 2009. Available at Accessed on 25 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit.

Key point: We need to be careful of 'generational thinking'.
  • There has been a lot written on the ‘Millennials’ (aka ‘Net Generation’, ‘Digital Natives’, etc.) and Hoover tries to navigate some of the many texts published on ‘Millennial culture’ in recent years.
  • In doing so, he points out that two main assumptions underpin “generational thinking”: 1) That millions of people born over 20 years are “fundamentally different” from other age groups, and 2) that “those people are similar to each other in meaningful ways”
  • Hoover also notes that the Millennial label has really only applied to affluent, white teenagers with good life opportunities, rather than the poor and black.
  • And finally, Hoover reminds us that “most renderings of Millennials are done by older people, looking through the windows of their own experiences.”
  • What types of generational thinking have you come across? Do you indulge in any yourself? Is there any value in generational thinking? What happens when we cross generational thinking with claims about 'Digital Natives' and changing brain structures?

IconGears.pngTech demo drop-in: Mobile learning

See Mobile learning on the Using Social Media in the Classroom website
Meh. If you want.

View it on VoiceThread

IconGears.pngTech demo drop-in: Podcasting, music, and audio

See Podcasting, music, and audio on the Using Social Media in the Classroom website

IconBooks.PNGFurther reading: Digital divide and digital participation

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Grant, L. (2007). Learning to be part of the knowledge economy: digital divides and media literacy. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

Green, H., & Hannon, C. (2007). Their space. Education for a digital generation. Available at Accessed 21 October 2008. pp 59 – 60.

Hague, C., & Williamson, B. (2009). Digital participation, digital literacy, and school subjects. A review of the policies, literature and evidence. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Media education for the 21st Century. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

Walker, L., & Logan, A. (2009). Using digital technologies to promote inclusive practices in education. Futurelab handbook. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

IconBooks.PNGFurther reading: Mobile learning

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Chiong, C., & Shuler, C. (2010). Learning: Is there an app for that? Investigations of young children’s usage and learning with mobile devices and apps. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

DEECD. (2011). In their hands. Getting started. Classroom ideas for learning with the iPad resource booklet for schools. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, State of Victoria. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

IconBooks.PNGFurther reading: Podcasting

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Mathison, C., & Billings, E. (2010). The effect of primary language podcasts on third grade English language learners’ performance in English-only science education contexts. Electronic Journal of Literacy Through Science 9, 1 – 30.

Shamburg, C. (2009). Student-Powered Podcasting. Teaching for 21st century literacy. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Smythe, S., & Neufeld, P. (2010). ‘Podcast Time’: Negotiating digital literacies and communities of learning in a middle years ELL classroom. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 53 (6), 488 – 496.

Sawmiller, A. (2010). Classroom blogging: What is the role in science learning? The Clearing House 83, 44 – 48.