Further Reading: Tim Fedak on literacies in higher ed

Happy Monday.   This week, I’m pointing you all to an insightful post by Tim Fedak, director of Distributed Medical Education at Dalhousie University.   Tim has written a great post on the nature of technology, literacies, and instruction in higher education.  I especially like his closing remarks:

There is a serious challenge facing the delivery of education in today’s technologically dominated media social landscape – our university leadership and faculty members have not been generally trained to speak, let alone be fluent in the languages of images and digital media.  The “teachers” and university leaders are fluent in text-based languages, not the image and digital literacies that are the dominant channels of information and communication today . . .

In the years to come images and digital media will continue to expand – how do we prepare our current students become fluent in the ways that will allow them to contribute to advance social well being?  How do we teach our learners to be visually and digitally literate?  Where are we giving them these skills?  As “teachers” how do we attain these new literacies?

Tim asks a lot of questions here, as most good blog posts do.  He raises a couple questions that librarians have been grappling with for some time now:

  • How do we communicate effectively with students who have are familiar with different modes of communication?
  • How do we teach critical thinking and research skills to students whose alphabets, vocabularies, and languages are visual more than they are textual?  What fundamental changes have occurred to research (and to teaching research) with the shift to the digital and the visual?
  • How do we keep up with these new technologies and literacies, ourselves?

So head to Tim’s blog:  read, and discuss.   You may also want to check out my previous post on transliteracies, which may have some useful links on the matter, too.


With Apologies to Albert Einstein and Steve Wheeler