May 5, 2011

“The phrase “computer literacy” has such a devalued meaning by now that its almost impossible to rescue it. Ive been using the term “technological fluency.” I dont think we have language yet for talking about the kind of knowledge people have about or through these new technologies.

Say someone is fluent in French. This doesn’t mean that the person knows some facts about French, or even a lot of facts about French. What it means is that this person can really use French as a medium of expression; if they’ve got an idea, it comes naturally to say it in French. Because the language becomes almost an extension of yourself, you dont have to think, “How do I say this in French?” It just comes out in French.

I see the same thing in relation to technology. When people become “technologically fluent” the technologies become part of their way of thinking, of how they express themselves.”

Cody, S. & Greene, C.  (1995) Interview with Seymour Papert entitled, “Learning through Building and Exploring.” In Multimedia Today, v3 n4 p30-39 Oct-Dec 1995.

Comments

3 Responses to “May 5, 2011”
  1. Well put. Fluency is the issue, and our schools have largely missed this point.

    • But can a school allow the time for that many different students to become fluent before being moved along?

      My wife and I home schooled for a year to allow a child to get a chance at becoming fluent, rather than continuing to run from behind all the time in school.

      “The assumption that all brains have the same capacities is charitable but demonstrably false,’’ David Eagleman.

      Yet schools are obliged to treat all students as if their capacities were identical.

  2. Gail Marshall says:

    It’s not so much fluency with technology that’s important but using technology to acquire knowledge, understanding and competence of ideas/issues of importance/skills needed for the 21st century. Technology is a tool, it’s not an end in itself. Let’s hope the “new voices for educational advancement” remember that it’s not the games that count, it’s the issues behind the games that should matter in the long run.