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Digital Learning Lives

Trajectories, Literacies, and Schooling


Ola Erstad

Today’s world is in turmoil. Economic crises are bringing countries to the brink of ruin, and old models are being questioned. The same sense of crisis also exists in contemporary education, and there is a need to explore new educational models. Digital Learning Lives: Trajectories, Literacies, and Schooling is a contribution in this direction. This book explores the importance of the adoption of digital technologies by contemporary education systems. Partly a synthesis of findings from projects carried out in Norway by the author over the past 15 years, the data have been extended to raise key questions about the effectiveness of current education strategies for the Facebook and YouTube generation. Along the way, a promising approach for future developments in education is introduced that embraces the engagement of digital media ‒ what Ola Erstad terms ‘learning lives’. Use of digital media in schools and in everyday culture becomes the catalyst for exploring learning as life-deep (studying identity processes), life-wide (studying learners across contexts), and life-long (studying learning as trajectories and timescales). The book is targeted toward courses on digital learning, educational change, school development, and formal-informal learning.


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Part II: Digital Learning


P a r t I I Digital Learning Erstad Final_Erstad fin 8/14/13 9:18 PM Page 77 Erstad Final_Erstad fin 8/14/13 9:18 PM Page 78 c h a p t e r f o u r Digital Competencies, Media Literacies, and School Practices The battle for the survival of man as a responsible being in the Communications Era is not to be won where the communication originates, but where it arrives. . . . The universe of Technological Communication would then be patrolled by groups of communica- tions guerrillas, who would restore a critical dimension to passive reception. The threat that “the medium is the message” could then become, for both medium and message, the return to individual re- sponsibility. (Eco, 1987, pp. 142, 144) Introduction It is amazing how the concept of digital literacy has surfaced in key policy docu- ments on national, regional, and global levels during the last decade. The term media literacy has been part of literacy and media research discourses since the 1980s, es- pecially linked to media education (Tyner, 1998). However, historically, media liter- acy and media education have been treated as marginal areas of research, and within school practices. With the introduction of digital media on a broad scale in our ed- ucation systems since the end of the 1990s, all this has changed. It became evident that what we traditionally conceived as literacy and competencies of reading and writing was not just confined to one medium, the book, but rather to a...

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