Technical Literacy

Table Topics today addressed our attitudes about technical literacy, the way our club web site is used, and ways the web site could serve the needs of the club better. I’d like to hear additional thoughts from the members who were present and opinions from members who were not. I led off with this question

In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, Jaron Lanier said

If you think about the “Avatar” movie, which many people are enjoying, imagine, in 10 years, that you will be able to make up stuff at that level of intensity yourself. And I think, in 10 years, no kid who can’t make up something like “Avatar” in an afternoon is going to be able to get a date. And I think that is going to be just great.

Do you feel the need for increased technical literacy in your life? What demands do you think this need for technical literacy creates for our club and for the Toastmasters program in general?

If you want more to think about, read Adda Birner asking Are you too old to learn to code? at Medium or consider this short clip from Steve Jobs

Please leave your thoughts in a comment.

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12 responses to Technical Literacy

  1. In the spirit of full disclosure I ought to mention that as seriously as I take this issue, I’m likely to ask about our need to unplug the next time out. I think it’s a fact of life that we have to navigate computers and the online world well to function in the modern world. But before we can make a world we have to be human first.

  2. The 99 Percent just pointed me to one of Kevin Kelly’s posts, which starts this way: If you are in school today the technologies you will use as an adult tomorrow have not been invented yet. Therefore, the life skill you need most is not the mastery of specific technologies, but mastery of the technium as a whole — how technology in general works. I like to think of this ability to deal with any type of new technology as techno-literacy. Read the whole post and see if you can disagree with the force of his argument.

  3. Take a look at Courtney OConnell’s take on technical literacy via Erik Qualman. He argues that we should teach students to blog. Here are the key points:

    Plain and simple, the single most empowering thing one can do for a student is help them find their voice. Today, we can’t stop there, we must also help them find and amplify their digital voice. When I was working at Rutgers, I taught our student leaders how to blog. Here are a few lessons I learned from this experience.

    Young people are our future leaders, and they will need to have a strong digital reputation among many other skills and traits to thrive as a leader. Infusing blogging into the curriculum and co-curriculum will empower our students to be digital leaders, and teach them an important skill they can use in just about any industry they enter upon graduation. Are you working in education? How have you taught students to build a strong digital reputation? I’d love to hear about it.

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