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Techno-literacy and blogging within a formal higher education setting
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Edilson ArenasEdilson Arenas, J Lynch
For the last two decades, higher education institutions have been actively engaged in the use of online technologies with the aim of transforming the ways we teach and learn to improve students’ learning experiences and outcomes. However, despite significant investment in infrastructure and training and a wide-scale uptake of such technologies, the promised transformative effect on student learning is yet to be actualised outside of small pockets of innovation. In this paper, we argue that one of the factors contributing to lack of qualitative large-scale transformation is students’ lack of preparedness and experience in using online tools for academic purposes. Focusing on students’ experience of a learning activity that used blogging to promote critical thinking and reflection, we draw on data from a doctoral study to demonstrate how a techno-literacy framework can be used to analyse the nuances of students’ preparedness to put such technologies to work within a formal higher education setting. We argue that, although contemporary university students are largely operationally literate when using online learning tools, they often lack the cultural and critical skills required to use such technologies in a meaningful way to support powerful learning. We argue that, for online learning technologies to transform learning, students need to be supported to develop these higher order techno-literacies.