Assignment 3 – Digital Reflections

Reflection 1

Module 1 – Digital Information

Artefact – Image

Image retrieved from https://www.financialsamurai.com/how-much-money-can-you-make-from-a-blog/

I chose to reflect on this image as my artefact because I have encountered many blog websites in the past while browsing the internet. Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, I have used the internet to gain varies amounts of new knowledge while at home and at school. However, I have now come to realise that a lot of information I have found through using the internet may not be necessarily true, and this is due to bloggers. Anyone is able to become a blogger and post their opinions or thoughts on particular matters. This becomes concerning for myself, as during high school all my work I presented was marked as correct, therefore, my education setting was teaching me to trust information published on the internet that was not academically sourced. This is concerning as from Netsafe (2018), every child needs to learn internet navigation in order to keep safe online and learn what to trust and what to believe (Netsafe, 2018).

It was not until I entered university that this begun to change where I have learned to only trust academically peer-reviewed sources. So how long have I believed incorrect information for? And what is really true?

This artefact reflects my growth for using and trusting the internet because previously I have trusted any information provided on the internet and it was not until recently joining Massey University that I learned anyone is able to write and post their personal opinion on a blog that can contain false information.

Therefore, using technology can cause constraints. Firstly, everything provided on the internet is not necessarily true so many students are feed with false information which becomes the creation of the post-truth world (Sepp, 2016). Secondly, not everyone can learn independently. Some individuals succeed more when learning with peers as meaningful discussions are formulated (Selwyn, 2016). So with the introduction of technology changing the way we operate in society is sometimes not always for the better. However, one affordance to the use of the internet is that society is able to access information easier and faster. Furthermore, societies are able to keep up to date with current affairs happening globally (Fields, Hartnett, & Davis, 2017).

References

Fields, A., Hartnett, M., & Davis, N. (2017). Open, flexible, and distance learning in a post-truth world. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, 21(1), 1-6. 

Netsafe. (2018). From literacy to fluency to citizenship: Digital citizenship in education. New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.netsafe.org.nz/2017xyz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/From-literacy-to-fluency-to-citizenship.pdf

Selwyn, N. (2016). Is technology good for education? [electronic resource]. Cambridge, UK Polity Press. 

Sepp, S. (2016). The role of education in a post-truth world.  Retrieved fromhttps://medium.com/ed-tech-tattler/the-role-of-education-in-a-post-truth-world-1005112a821c

Reflection 2

Module 2 – Digital Identity

Artefact – Website

Pew Research Center. (2010). Teens and mobile phones. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/2010/04/20/teens-and-mobile-phones/

I chose this artefact as I can highly relate to the website from my past experiences using technology. During my later schooling years, owning a cell phone became a necessity to have as text messaging between peers became very popular. This is because it was considered ‘cool’ to chat over text which supports Pew Research (2010) findings where they found teens prefer text messaging as their form of communication (Pew Research, 2010). Furthermore, Underwood and Ehrenreich (2017) state that over sixty text messages are sent a day by the average teen as they prefer to text rather than have face to face interactions. I reflected this statement back to my personal experiences and completely agree. During high school I found it easier to text rather than communicate in person as I was going through a stage of finding my identity and lacked confidence when speaking to new people. Code (2013) states the use of digital technologies allows identity expression through online interactions which is what occurred for me as I was able to freely engage with others over the phone and build my self-confidence that way. Therefore, this artefact highlights my situation, as I think cell phones used as a form of digital technology became an affordance for me during this time in adolescence. I was able to freely communicate with more peers that maybe I would not usually associate myself with and build confidence within my identity when introduced to social situations.

However, from Underwood and Ehrenreich (2017) research, it was recognised that when adolescences do have the freedom to text on a cell phone, they also have access to other social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat; where they state over 20 million teenagers globally use Facebook. I believe these statistics are correct and are a reflection of what the current world is turning to. During high school everyone I knew had Facebook where we could like, post, and share information about personal identities. The amount of likes on photos became a classification of how popular you were. I think this is a limitation to the use of digital technologies as the drive to stay up to date with social media can cause teenagers to have their profiles on public rather than private (Steeves, 2015).

From what I have learned in module twos readings and my chosen artefact, I think it is evident much of society is creating and expressing their identities online rather than in their physical environment. This becomes a concern and constraint to the use of digital technologies as not all identities expressed online are real, so this is where individuals start to cyberbully one another or compare identity performances to something that is not real.

References

Code, J. (2013). Agency and identity in social media. In S. Warburton & S. Hatzipanagos (Eds.), Digital identity and social media (pp. 37-57). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Steeves, V. (2015). Swimming in the fishbowl: Young people, identity, and surveillance in networked spaces. In I. van der Ploeg & J. Pridmore (Eds.), Digitizing identities: Doing identity in a networked world (pp. 135-149). London, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis.

Underwood, M. K., & Ehrenreich, S. E. (2017). The power and the pain of adolescents’ digital communications: Cyber victimization and the perils of lurking. American Psychologists, 72(2), 144-158.

Reflection 3

Module 3 – Digital Participation

Artefact – Report

McKnight, L., & Davies, C. (2013). Current perspectives on assistive learning technologies: 2012 review of research and challenges within the field. Oxford: University of Oxford. Retrieved from http://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Current-Perspectives-on-Assistive-Learning-Technologies.pdf

I chose this report to reflect on as assistive technologies are beginning to, at a rapid pass, enter the education curriculum in New Zealand. This information is important to me as I wish to become a Primary school teacher in the near future, so the challenges identified in this report will most likely effect myself when I enter the teaching workforce. The report affirms that access to education is a basic human right where it is the state’s responsibility to ensure all education facilities are demonstrating inclusive education. This is so all children experience positive life-long learning (McKnight & Davies, 2013). According to Mavrou, Sallinen, Meletiou-Mavroutheris, Karke, and Hogerwerf (2016), by introducing assistive technologies into education to help children who may have difficulties with learning barriers is an excellent idea as this will achieve the states goal of creating inclusive classrooms. This is because positive results have occurred worldwide for schools who have implemented digital devices in their curriculum (Mavrou et al., 2016).

However, the introduction of digital technologies in education also creates many challenges which have been identified in McKnight and Davies, (2013) report and module three. One challenge to the current digital age is that there is now a digital divide between children in education. This is because assistive technologies such as tablets and computers do not come cheap (Ragnedda, 2017). Personally, I think New Zealand is already at the stage where families are battling with schools about the digital divide. As some schools now have made it compulsory in their stationary list that every child must supply a tablet or computer for their learning in class. So although assistive technologies are providing positive effects for children with learning difficulties and children in education, they are also creating negative effects for children without. This aspect becoming the digital divide in education, which I think will not become resolved as the positive effects outweigh the negative effects.

This artefact has become an important aspect to my learning journey as I am becoming aware of the negative factors children are being faced with in education today. This is where I have the opportunity before entering the teaching workforce to brainstorm new ways of overcoming negative barriers for children. For example, I could conduct class fundraisers with the outcome of raising enough money to purchase classroom devices. This way children without devices are still able to participate in the new ways of learning by sharing around the device. I think this will be a good start to implementing the problem as I believe digital technologies will not be leaving the education curriculum any time soon.

References

Mavrou, K., Sallinen, M., Meletiou-Mavroutheris, M., Karke, A., & Hogerwerf, E.-J. (2016). European Network for Technology Enhanced learning in an inclusive Society. State of the Art Report European Network for Technology Enhanced Learning in an Inclusive Society. Retrieved from http://www.entelis.net/sites/all/files/entelis_stateoftheartreport_public.pdf

McKnight, L., & Davies, C. (2013). Current perspectives on assistive learning technologies: 2012 review of research and challenges within the field. Oxford: University of Oxford. Retrieved from http://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Current-Perspectives-on-Assistive-Learning-Technologies.pdf

Ragnedda, M. (2017). The third digital divide: a Weberian approach to digital inequalities. London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2017.

Reflection 4

Module 3 – Digital Participation

Artefact – News Article

Artefact – Brunton, T. (2017). Bringing technology to life in classrooms. Retrieved from https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/89584094/bringing-technology-to-life-in-classrooms

I have chosen to reflect on this news article as my artefact as I think introducing technology into New Zealand schools is a crucial step towards keeping New Zealand, as a nation, up to date with the latest technologies. The reason this is important to me as from my current travels overseas, some countries are very well developed where technology is heavily incorporated into many everyday tasks compared to New Zealand. Keeping New Zealand up to date with the latest technology helps bridge the gap with the global technology divide. This fact can be supported through Ragnedda (2017), research on the digital divide where it is stated having access to new technologies can offer new opportunities in the social world.

Therefore, this is why I believe New Zealand needs to invest their profits into making technology available for society as not only will this keep New Zealand from experiencing exclusion from the rest of the world, this will also benefit societal members in regard to education, healthcare, societal resources, food, and money (Ragnedda, 2017). So if New Zealand continues keeping up with the latest technologies then this will increase opportunities for all societal members to become digitally literate and become digital citizens, thus, becoming an affordance to the use of technologies. This is because New Zealand citizens will have the skills to be critical while using the internet which leads to creating more high-profile jobs available in New Zealand.

However, with New Zealand citizens keeping up with the latest technologies also brings risks when using the internet which becomes a constraint to the use of digital technologies. As from personal experiences when browsing the internet, it is very easy to be scammed, hacked, or robbed when entering the wrong website. This becomes a constraint to the use of technologies as this can occur very easily, especially to those who are basic users such as children or the older generations learning to navigate the internet.

Overall from what I have learned so far, it is important that New Zealand citizens learn to become digitally literate when browsing the internet in order to avoid the constraint of being hacked (Netsafe, 2018). Furthermore, New Zealand citizens must learn digital literacy as it is important for New Zealand as a nation to keep up with the rest of the world in the latest technologies. Therefore, I think this importance should not be ignored by the government when planning the education curriculum.

References

Netsafe. (2018). From literacy to fluency to citizenship: Digital citizenship in education. New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.netsafe.org.nz/2017xyz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/From-literacy-to-fluency-to-citizenship.pdf

Ragnedda, M. (2017). The third digital divide: a Weberian approach to digital inequalities. London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2017.

Reflection 5

Module 4 – Digital Connections

Artefact – Video

I have chosen to reflect on this video featuring Massey University’s outline to distant learning as I too am a part of this community. According to Goodyear (2014), it is stated network learning is another way to learn with the guidance of technologies. Using technology while learning allows learners to interact with other learners such as students, tutors, and the community. This promotes connections between all learners as online users are communicating and sharing ideas about their online material and experiences (Goodyear, 2014). Massey University (2014) states having an online learning platform available enables students to study from home who might not have the flexibility to travel to classes which becomes an affordance to the use of digital technologies. From reading Goodyear (2014) ideas, this prompted me to reflect back on myself as I am a participant of network learning with Massey University being a full-time distant student. I agree, I have become connected online with other students whom I have not yet met, we give advice and share ideas about the online material given for learning. From Bilandzic and Foth (2017), reading my previous thoughts on connected learning were proven correct where I have created an online social world for learning. I agree with this study, as from becoming socially connected online, this has influenced and allowed me to form deeper connections with students who I now call friends to meet up at physical places. So not only am I interest-driven to study but also friendship-driven to share perspectives on new knowledge learned (Bilandzic & Foth, 2017). As I have made friends through my learning journey where we share knowledge and participate to discussions, this can be reflected using the communities of practice theory where learning has taken place through participation and practices and not through the individual themselves (Farnsworth, Kleanthous, & Wenger-Trayner, 2016).

As learning is not restricted to places, one challenge I have recognised for being a networked learner as opposed to an on-campus physical learner is that it is much easier to discuss information face to face. This has become one learning barrier for me while being connected online as even though I am still able to communicate online with other students, it takes less time to speak face to face and richer information is provided. However, this challenge has equipped me for the online stresses that may be present in my future encounters with network spaces. I am now able to critically analyse written information as opposed to listening to knowledge verbally.

References

Bilandzic, M., & Foth, M. (2017). Designing hubs for connected learning: Social, spatial, and technological insights from coworking spaces, hackerspaces, and meetup groups. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked learning. New York: Routledge.

Farnsworth, V., Kleanthous, I., & Wenger-Trayner, E. (2016). Communities of practice as a social theory of learning: a conversation with Etienne Wenger. British Journal of Educational Studies, 64:2, 139-160, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2015.1133799

Goodyear, P. (2014). Productive learning networks: the evolution of research and practice. In L. Carvalho & P. Goodyear, The architecture of productive learning networks (pp. 23-47). New York: Routledge.

Massey University. (2014, December 17). APA referencing: Distant learning at Massey University [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqn_SSBrBFU

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