Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Digital Literacy & Me

I can't believe I'm actually on this blog!  It was a titanic struggle against technology; but creating a virgin gmail account coupled by a new invite from Jess finally tamed the blog monster. Best get assignment #1 posted.

The video tutorials on YouTube make creating a podcast sound so easy. Indeed, iMovie and Garage Band were surprisingly user-friendly to a neophyte. It's clear why the digital generation chose these tools and this medium to tell their stories.

Unfortunately for me, the tools' ease of use does not automatically translate into product quality, as evidenced by my very first, and very wince-worthy, podcast. Please forgive the mumbling, strange intonations, choppy transitions, uneven sound quality, and all the other areas for improvement on this podcast. Though I have to say, the tool are such that there is an allure to continue the exploration.  Hmm...do a Christmas podcast instead of the annual letter? Hmm....

I've always loathed seeing myself on film - my exuberant expressions looks like caricatures, and we won't even talk about the magic 10 pound weight gain.  So the podcast is composed of photos only, which is  not what I saw in my mind's eye when I first mulled over this assignment.  Popular media provides the example and the measure for professionals and amateurs alike. When I first thought through the podcast, what I saw and heard in my head was drawn from the visual styles of multi-million dollar Hollywood productions, and this first attempt falls way, way, way short of my mental visuals.  In doing this assignment, I realized how many factors are at play in creating a good product, right from the script to vocals and sound, visuals, colour, editing...the list goes on. Will having these skills be something that is expected of my kids' generation, much like typing is for us today? Will they be expected to create and submit "professional" quality hyperlinked video CV's for judgement by their prospective employer, even for entry-level administrative jobs?  Will immersion in new media mean mandatory expertise as well? Who determines expertise? Is expertise arrived at by consensus: more thumbs-up than downs?

Doing this podcast brought home the depth and breadth of knowledge a digital native may be expected to have. The world is at your fingertips, but you are obligated in turn to build the world. Will that be paralyzing or liberating for my kids? I hope it's the latter.


  1. What a great post and podcast. LOL at your chat room experience; it was partly fear of missteps that kept me out of that world. Maybe we all need real people, not technology or digital representatives, to draw us into social media and the web. Hillary talks about being drawn in by her peers at university, Liz by her kids, me very reluctantly by a need to stay current and connected with family, but even then, I took the easy way to plunge in and lured myself with a trip to a seminar on intranet in San Francisco. A little sourdough bread to make the medicine go down.

    The other thought I had was the competing interests we have in our lives - dance, children, husbands, cats and dogs and work. I'm rarely looking for something to catch my attention - it's divided enough as it is :)

  2. What a great review of social media in your life, Theresa. As I listened to you, I began to realize that I have been 'hung up' on my own lack of involvement in this new sphere and thought that anyone younger than me must be very transliterate. My panic is that I am falling behind. Your chat room experience is hilarious and the fact your children are an impetus to continue exploring is encouraging. As Judith says above, we all have different ways we have been drawn into this world. If it were not for my students, I could probably live quite well without it. In the same breath, I am so glad I am being pushed to be current. Too young to get 'old' yet.