Technology Literacy, A Journey, Not a Destintation

yellow brick roadThe New York Times Magazine has an article about Achieving Techno-Literacy. Kelly focuses on the home school aspects of technology literacy but the points he makes can be applies across the board.

He notes:

But the computer was only one tool of many. Technology helped us learn, but it was not the medium of learning. It was summoned when needed. Technology is strange that way.

The same could be said for books. It’s funny how we often see technology as more than the tool it is.

His observations on what it means to be technology literate are spot on.

one of the chief habits a student needs to acquire is technological literacy — and we made sure it was part of our curriculum. By technological literacy, I mean the latest in a series of proficiencies children should accumulate in school. Students begin with mastering the alphabet and numbers, then transition into critical thinking, logic and absorption of the scientific method. Technological literacy is something different: proficiency with the larger system of our invented world. It is close to an intuitive sense of how you add up, or parse, the manufactured realm. We don’t need expertise with every invention; that is not only impossible, it’s not very useful. Rather, we need to be literate in the complexities of technology in general, as if it were a second nature.

Technology will change faster than we can teach it. My son studied the popular programming language C++ in his home-school year; that knowledge could be economically useless soon

I think you’ll find the break down of the kind of technology literacy he attempted to impart to his son useful, not just to apply to the classroom, or workshops but to yourself and your journey.

  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
  • Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
  • Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.
  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
  • The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
  • Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?
  • Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?
  • The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.
  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

Found via @vonburkhardt

2 Responses to “Technology Literacy, A Journey, Not a Destintation”

  1. Top Ten Links Week 38 – Positive Feedback, Library Trends, TechnoLiteracy and More | Librarian by Day Says:

    […] Technology Literacy, A Journey, Not a Destintation – this post from the Libraries and Transliteracy blog looks a recent NYT magazine article […]

  2. @geomancer Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post- defn food for thought for librarians

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