Techno-literacy and learning in blended, multicultural course environments
Arenas, Edilson and Lynch, Julianne 2012, Techno-literacy and learning in blended, multicultural course environments, in E-Learn 2012 : Proceedings of the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, [Montréal, Québec], pp. 1-10.
For the last two decades, higher education institutions have been actively engaged in the use of online technology with the aim of transforming the way we teach and learn to improve students’ learning experiences and outcomes. However, despite significant investment in infrastructure and training and a wide-scale uptake of such technologies, the promised transformative effect on student learning is yet to be actualised outside of small pockets of innovation. In this paper, we argue that one of the factors contributing to lack of qualitative large-scale transformation is students’ lack of preparedness and experience in using online tools for learning purposes. Drawing on an ethnographic study of culturally diverse computing students and teachers within learning environments that blend online and face-to-face pedagogies, we argue that, although contemporary university students are largely operationally literate when using online learning tools, they often lack the cultural and critical skills required to use such technologies in a meaningful way to support powerful learning. We argue that, for online learning technologies to transform learning, students need to be supported to develop these higher order techno-literacy skills.