A critical digital literacy – what would that look like?

A lot like Bertie’s blog posts about ipads, IMO.

I love apple products. Edited a book on one of the first Macintosh computers in 1984 and bought my own two years’ later. This one took me through my undergraduate degree, then I bought a Mac Pro during a period of graphic and web design work, and kept it for my career as a writer and editor. After a nasty spell in the early 2000s when nobody seemed to be compatible with me and I went over to the other side, I returned to the fold three years ago and now own an iMac, MacBook Air, ipod and iphone, all synced of course. But I’m aware that in buying into this beautifully designed and apparently life-completing technology I’m also selling my future media choices back to Apple – yes the iTunes store knows my credit card number and isn’t afraid to use it. Through my love of Apple products I am a bit in the Apple business machine.

I’ve blogged elsewhere about what a critical digital and media literacy should look like. An awareness that technology and the business interests behind technology have designs on us as well as serving our ‘needs’.

At a project meeting today, I heard again the argument that digital technology should be invisible. That digital skills are nothing more than the capacity to find the information you need to make the technology work, without thinking too hard about it. At University I think we should be in the business of thinking hard, including about our technologies and the designs they have on us. I’d rather be making technology relentlessly visible, and visible in new ways, than simply succumbing to its allure, its ease of use.

Though yes, I am writing this with my headphones and iTunes DJ on.

A big welcome to Bertie. And a small note to JISC – we are not buying him an ipad.

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