Developing digital literacy @ GSA
As is the case across the sector, developing staff and student digital literacy is a key area of strategic and operational interest at the Glasgow School of Art. GSA strongly encourages diversity and innovation in learning, and as the role that technology plays in creative education becomes ever-more significant, there comes a need to better understand its place in facilitating communication, expression and reflection.
DIAL’s advocacy for sustained cultural change has been an invaluable inspiration in evaluating and refining our priorities and approach. DIAL’s participative, forward-looking and integrated perspective has highlighted the important areas of staff/ student collaboration, harnessing the power of mutually supportive practice communities and the merits of embedding relevant technology in purpose/subject-specific contexts. The DIAL resources attached to these core attributes have influenced a staged approach at GSA which aims to provide developmental and iterative initiatives to support existing expertise as well as encourage adapted forms of engaging with emerging technologies.
The first phase of the initiative is to consider student perspectives on the notions of ‘digital literacy’ and ‘digital natives’. Though the validity of the digital natives/ immigrant construct has recently been questioned, and arguments now refer to more transient, mutable roles of ‘resident’ and ‘visitor’ (as advocated by DIAL), little evidence exists to improve understanding of students’ reflexive positioning. Throughout October and November 2012, a series of informal focus groups are being conducted with GSA students to invite reflections on students’ interpretation and potential identification (if any) with such constructions. In addition, students are also invited to share creative responses to what the term ‘Digital Litter’ might mean. By considering past experiences of using technology, students are able to evaluate their current expectations; what technologies they may still use in learning and what they may now regard as obsolete. These creative responses will form an exhibition in the GSA Students’ Association in November, and provide a multi-media student-authored evidence base for the development of digital literacy activities and subsequent staff initiatives.
For more info follow @digilitter on Twitter and Instagram