Digital Literacy Reflection

This year has been a turbulent one, and technology has been brought to the forefront to have its time in the spotlight. As such, it is all the more important to reflect on how we use and are used by that technology.

Although both half and full days have their merits when put side by side this year I liked full days more.  While half days give me a chance to sleep in or make better use of my morning since I don’t have to commute during it, whole days make the commute more worth it for one. Also, they give me a chance to see people more often while working on schoolwork. I find that these small assignments done as a class that we all participate in are much harder to do online. I also find that I am less distracted at school, because at home any work I do feels like homework, and makes me think I could be doing something else instead. Also, sometimes the equipment I need is at school, which makes the half days harder to be productive. For example, during this term, there was a font in graphic arts that I needed that was available on the school computer, but not my home one, so I had to find other work to do at home. As one more reason, if I do have video calls for online learning, I do not enjoy them as much as they don’t encourage me to participate as strongly and they inhibit communication. A prime example of this is the career education ones, which I remember had very little participation, as no one turned on their cameras or talked, and it wasn’t very engaging.

Technology is essential to hybrid learning. Firstly, and most obviously, without technology we wouldn’t be able to have video calls for hybrid classes. So besides that, if we were to not have video calls for hybrid learning and just work on work assigned in class, a lack of technology would still cripple us in a few ways. Without technology, it would be harder to keep track of a complicated schedule and due dates. Also, without technology, those working at home would not be able to receive updates, assignments, or new developments made with those in class, and would be deaf and blind until joining class again. For example, if those in class were to agree on a new due date for an assignment that was too large and couldn’t tell those at home, those at home might be unduly stressed to finish their work. Also, no technology would inhibit research to textbooks and books, which would mean either no research at all at home or carrying many books back and forth from school. All in all, hybrid classes might still run without technology, but it would be far less productive and enriching for the learners.

I think the main way technology has impeded me during hybrid learning is by providing distractions. It is very easy to click onto YouTube or whatever else while working from home, which brings me back to the point at the top of this page, which is that when I’m at home I can see all of the activities I could be doing, and feel less inclined to work. There is even a downside to the helpfulness of technology to hybrid learning, as it is also very easy to check for updates from those in school too often and use checking school email and teams as a way of procrastinating and wasting time.

I really like the shift to having assignments given digitally, and I hope that remains after covid-19 for a few reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, it’s very easy to keep track of all your work digitally than it is in a binder or notepad. Similarly, digitally your work takes up less space which means there are fewer papers and books to bring back and forth, and therefore fewer tools needed to write in those, and all-around just easier. Finally, digital assignments give you a chance to look over the requirements and assignment instead of just trying to remember what you heard or keeping track of another paper with instructions. For example, in humanities, I hardly even needed to keep track of what was assigned, because I could look into assignments to see what was due when, and anything else would be found as a post in the chat. I also liked having some days at home for parts, and I would like that to stay in some form, though hopefully not in a way that harms electives that need you to be there, and hopefully not a complicated way.

The first project I will mention that was enhanced by digital technology was my Eminent Person Learning Centre. Firstly, this project depended on digital technology because we couldn’t have an in-person learning centre. Besides that, however, this my computer allowed me to do it in a website format, which I think fits the eminent fair very well. A website has the potential to very visually appealing, but most importantly it gives the audience a choice of what they learn about, and in what quantity. Because people wanted to see many learning centres, it makes sense that they couldn’t see the whole learning centre for many people, therefore it was important for me that they see their favourite parts, rather than just having to watch through a video or PowerPoint and then cut off halfway through. A website does this job perfectly by giving control to the reader, while still letting the presenter dictate what is viewed a little through having some headings more attractive than others, using tools like putting them at the top, or bolding them.

Next, my In-Depth benefitted from digital technology in many ways. The first benefit I’ll get out of the way is that I needed that technology and software to make and upload my videos. Secondly, it allowed me to connect with a really good stop motion mentor in California, who I wouldn’t have been able to be mentored by otherwise. Also, technology allows me to share my videos with others. For example, I could reflect on my videos and share them on my blog every other week. It also allowed me to share my work through my Final Learning Centre, which was also a website, and also just through youtube.

To conclude, digital technology in my opinion has many upsides and downsides, though I think the pros outweigh the cons. Even more so, it has become a crucial part of our lives and education due to the global pandemic, and I don’t think the influence the pandemic has had on our screen tendencies will fade easily. I think that I’m glad about it, however, and I’m excited to see what kinds of new innovation will stay around and improve after the pandemic.