Posts Tagged ‘network literacy’

Network Literacy In Education | Week Five Lecture Reflection

An interesting point in last week’s symposium was the industrialised nature of the school system, and whether or not network literacy should be more of a focus.

I would argue that some aspects of the school system are in fact out dated. Thinking back to highschool (the entire nine months ago that it was), one of the most used phrases in the classroom was undoubtedly…

 ‘When am I ever going to use this in life?’

Although the question was always ineffective and we’d inevitably have to do the work regardless, the annoying kids who would ask it often did have a point. As Elliot mentioned, the retention rates of content learned in high school are remarkably low. In my experience, I can safely say my knowledge of the steps of cellular respiration is quickly slipping away from me, and I couldn’t even tell you what the point of a matrix is. Was this content therefore useless? What good will it do for us in the real world?

It’s difficult to say if more of an emphasis on network literacy will solve this issue. However, the extent to which technology is becoming increasingly abundant in the school classroom should be made known. Laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards are consistently used for class activities, and are arguably driving the classic pen and paper out of the picture. If children and teenagers are making use of these devices and the Internet to such an extreme, wouldn’t it be logical that they are taught at least a basic understanding of network literacy?

I tend to think that there is not much point in attempting to educate a grade five to code HTML – like my diminishing knowledge of cellular respiration, it is something that they are likely to never use again. In saying that, there is certainly a basic level of Internet etiquette that should be taught and understood, and will in fact be useful for almost everyone post graduation. For instance, the fundamentals of copyright and the ability to judge the validity of content on the net is something that all children and teens should be aware of. In a world that has become extremely reliant on the Internet, we should at least have an understanding of the medium we are dealing with, and where our online actions could lead us.

Illiteracy VS Literacy | Week Four Lecture Reflection

It’s always interesting to see where the discussion in the weekly symposiums heads. One simple question can take us to a whole new branch of different concepts for us to consider.

A key thought that I took away is the idea that there is no fine line between being illiterate or literate in any given area. More specifically, there are many different LEVELS of literacy. It is much more appropriate to arrange these levels on a continuum rather than dividing them into two discrete categories.

For example, take network literacy. There is no defined checklist of things you must know or do in order to be given the title of being ‘literate’ in the area. Sure, you might be able to code HTML and CSS to make a simple webpage. Don’t get me wrong, that’s impressive and all, but it is very probable that someone else has a higher level of expertise in the area. They might have a more extensive knowledge of HTML and CSS, or maybe they’re even responsible for the development of the tools you use to input your HTML. However, this does not mean that they are network literate and that you are not. They simply have a higher level of network literacy on the continuum.

I was thinking about this in relation to my own life. I would think that I have a reasonable level of network literacy – I’ve been an avid internet user for 10 years and have experimented with a range of mediums. By no means am I an expert, but I also am not completely naïve. On the other hand, my Mum was quite late to conform to the realms of the Internet. With time and painful teaching procedures however, she has since developed the basic skills necessary to perform Google searches and the like. Have a look at the continuum now:


Evidently, we all lie somewhere on this continuum. I think it is almost impossible to reach the pinnacle at either end.