TEDxWarwick: Doug Belshaw – The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

ImageI love TED Talks. I watched “TEDxWarwick – Doug Belshaw – The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies” because I am familiar with the idea of digital literacies and wanted to see if there was anything else to know.

Much of what was said was known to me, like the idea that digital literacies are constantly changing and even the examples of memes and lolcats. I did appreciate Belshaw’s introduction to digital examples using the analogy of menus and menu navigation. Basically, menu systems require logic and can be problematic, causing a barrier much like the barrier for getting started in the digital world.

The iPad menu (for example) lowers that barrier because it is easier to use. I love this example, because I love Apple and Steve Jobs. This specifically reminded me of a part in Steve Jobs’ biography where he described how a child from a third world country approached a man with an iPad and was instantly able to pick it up and use it – it was that intuitive.

For digital literacies, then, skills and ideas cannot be used forever due to its changing nature. They should focus on interests and intrinsic motivations in order to be used and spread by people. For me, this is especially true in regards to being a teacher. I consider myself fairly up-to-date on technology today, but that doesn’t mean I always will be. It’s important to keep up with changing digital literacies and use them effectively in the classroom.

Back from Travels!

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It has been several weeks but I am finally back and settled in from all of my travels. I went from Pittsburgh to Erie to Barcelona to Amsterdam, all within 2 weeks. 

I think traveling is important. I consider myself lucky to have had the chances to see visit incredible places…but there are always more! Barcelona and Amsterdam were beautiful and I was able to see historic sights. One of my favorites was, of course, the Anne Frank house. I figure as an English teacher, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll teach the book eventually and having been to the house I feel like I can understand it better. All in all, a great trip! But I’m always happy to be home.

I’m not very productive about taking and posting pictures. My camera died so my pictures are scattered among family members’ cameras and iPhones. I do have the one posted above. This is the sight from our balcony in Barcelona.