Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Curiosity, patience and grit

I've been following Doug Belshaws' work around defining digital / web literacies and I admire his persistence and broadness with this endeavour.
I have found his taxonomy / matrix / domain missing the required pre-beginner / prerequisite information. And thankfully, this has now been added to the discussion. I have been teaching digital literacies to kids, youth and adults for over 20 years. Mostly, it started with my wanting to be a teacher and working for small computer stores and giving volunteer workshops to the parents of my (now 16 year old daughters) school. Since this beginning I have taught in many places online and off, at many different levels including workshops for faculty and graduate student with Memorial University; Teaching digital literacies at these different levels taught me the importance of encouraging people to let go and develop curiosity, patience and grit in their approach. I honestly believe if people can't develop this kind of a mind set when approaching their digital literacy, they won't be successful.

The essential foundational capabilities for developing your personal digital literacies are;
  • have the curiosity to figure out how something works by taking it a part, moving things around, breaking it and getting it working again.
  • have the patience to stick with it until it is done, when something (an experiment) doesn't work out you need the patience to try again and again without losing focus through frustration.
  • have the grit to see the bigger picture and stick with it. Many things will push you away from being successful in developing digital literacies. Have the grit to stay with it long term. Digital literacy is an ongoing practice. As new technologies and approaches emerge, remaining literate will require an ongoing practice.