Digital Literacy

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.

A Digitally Literate Person:

 Possesses the variety of skills – technical and cognitive – required to
find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information
in a wide variety of formats;

 Is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, and judge the quality of that information;

 Understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning,
personal privacy, and stewardship of information;

Uses these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion, the general public; and

Uses these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute
to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.

(Bold mine)

ALA Digital Literacy Taskforce, 2011

A digitally literate person can blog and a blog fulfils and all the above. If you are reading this you are becoming more digitally literate, more if you reply, more if you have a blog!

P.S. It has come to my attention that, of course, we are assuming computer literacy. If you are teaching computer literacy below is a guide of what I consider to be the essentials.  

 

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Article on Blogging

I have plans to post about Second Life when I get a readership on older citizens. Don’t want to frighten them. So spread the word by commenting. Thank you very much.

Older Citizens Blogging

About

The purpose of this hub is to get noticed. As an older citizen I feel marginalised as so many other older citizens do. The purpose of my teaching blog is to help older citizens have a voice. I am 67 years old and feel in many ways to be in my prime.

Spammy?

I write domains as “example dot com” when I want to tell people of a site where there is no need for a link. We sub vocalise when we read which is a memory aid. Of course when we say a web address this is how we say it. It is appropriate when an html link is not appropriate. My first gTLD (global top level domain) is IrishSecure dot com and I have had it since 1998. You can visit it if you like but there is no need for a link. There is also the practice in some platforms and blogs that if you put in example.com it automatically becomes a clickable link. Maybe its idiosyncratic but there seems to be no research on how to remember a web address? It would be easy to set up an experiment to test my theory. Give one group a list of web addresses with words example dot com and the control group example.com and see who remembers more.

Experience

I have an honours science degree in Psychology and I am a trained counsellor. I have a masters degree in Social Work. I worked as a Probation Officer for ten years in inner city high crime patch in London. I had 3 murderers on my caseload. I set up and ran an alcohol abuse training course that the courts could sentence to. I did 14 hour shifts in a secure bail hostel on my own. For two years. My reports were used to train magistrates.

I have been around the world, mostly overland. It took ten years. I went to India via the Nile…true story!

I am bipolar.

I have survived lung cancer.

Computing

I had my first computer in 1981. In 1986 I helped programme and install a networked touch sensitive computer system for Manpower Services Commission a British government body to access a database, in real time, of job vacancies nationwide. In those days the “computer scientists” in MSC were a bunch of psychologists, the only ones to understand the system. It is now (?) used in every job centre in England well that was in the days of MSC now gone *sigh*.

In 1994 I built my first PC from scratch. In 1996 I set us up as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) with two web servers and two name servers which were built from scrap. We had a Silicon Graphics work station as used by NASA to control the Mars lander. In 2000 we offered secure wireless Internet access to the whole town of Tullamore in Ireland. In 2006 we went bust through lack of support and repercussions of the dot com crash.

My YouTube channel which I set up in 2008 has had over 100k views and there are over 400 videos. I have published over 80 documents on Scribd (not written by me) which have had over 60k views. My major sites have a library of select books all out of print copies I have found, including James Joyce Ulysses, Moby Dick etc. available to read online or download. It’s on this site too as I love it so.  My blogs have over 6k subscribers.

Currently I operate a rented web server and name servers and have 25 gTLDs and untold WordPress blogs. The blog linked below took a week to set up including content.

I know what I am doing.

If you don’t blow your own trumpet will someone else? Older Citizens should have a voice, my aim is to give them one.

Our brains still work

“The good news is that far from slowing down in old age, the brain can actually keep growing new dendrites, which are the connections between neurons. Old brains are as plastic as young brains; in fact, the connections between the two hemispheres of our brains become better integrated with age……”

Dr. Natash Josefowitz “On becoming 90” Huffington Post

Yet there are some failings as Dr.Josefowitz points out in the excellent article. I find, myself, memories of 50 or more years ago can be quite fresh but I forget the password I created 5 minutes ago AND I am only 67. I use sticky notes on my computer to remember stuff. So clearly things aren’t perfect. However it doesn’t stop me. My email box is littered with “password reset” notices. No big deal. This has been recognised by the powers that be and I can log on using a one click Facebook login.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

I blog a lot and I find it keeps my brain ticking over nicely. I learn new stuff everyday and the important bits I retain. So the idea that learning stops at a certain age is a fallacy. So with this in mind I decided to teach blogging to older citizens and that it can be done. There is a noticeable lack of older citizens blogging and this needs changing. It helps greatly that with a computer and access to the Internet this is not difficult. It could be done in a library, It takes minutes to set up a wordpress blog. When you are in wordpress dot com “If it doesn’t exist register it” . How Zen! People use their name which makes it easy to remember. Given that there are there are approximately over 150 million blogs on the Internet getting a name may pose some problems however marionjwinslow for example or billwatkinssuperblog are probably available. Just need a bit of imagination.

Capitals are ok

The web treats capitals as lower case so when you are writing the name of your blog you can write it as MarionJWilson or BillsSuperBlog which makes it that more memorable when people read it. They don’t have to write it in capitals as a link BUT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE! So be imaginative and you can write a short but memorable sentence. MaybeOldButWhoCares is a potential blog address, it is memorable and that is the important thing. When chatting with friends you can say “MaybeOldButWhoCares dot wordpress dot com” and they will remember it. (By the way the teaching blog I have set up on wordpress is 100% free and there is no reason to spend any money).

Imagination

So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I'll give them a login

 So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I’ll give them a login

Research

After an extensive trawl I can find no research that has investigated cognition and blogging in the older citizen. Nor the potential impact on feelings of isolation and exclusion. Nor on the potential impact on family life. If a persons mother starts putting up pictures of when they were a child or writing about a holiday they had in 1965; anything that gives the son or daughter an historical perspective will bring families closer.

I have a very old family album which goes back to 1949 – 1952 and I used my camera phone to take a picture of the photograph. I then uploaded it to my computer and added it to my blog. Any family picture can be put in a blog.

A free wordpress blog is there in perpetuity not so people. If you have left a blog as a legacy how uplifting it can be. There needs to be research on the impact of blogging on mood. As the population ages, older citizens are a potential resource that shouldn’t be ignored.

Me and Mum 1949

 

The good old days

I read an interesting article on Facebook by an 86 year old who was lamenting the passing of an age in England that was post WW2 a time of the creation of free health care, a boom in affordable housing, education blossoming and freely available work. Its on my blog. After watching I, Daniel Blake it makes you wonder about the value we put on citizens today. Older citizens can take the values of yesterday and resurrect them for today’s generation and demand a return to things we hold dear. Compassion and honesty being the watch words. Daniel Blake received no compassion.

Older Citizens on WordPress

So I have set up a teaching blog for getting older citizens blogging. I have used video extensively with text support; a complimentary oldercitizens dot com and a quick start dot org. I am in the process of propagating it globally (why not?) and have plans to set up complimentary country sub domains on the dot com. It took me a week to set up the three sites including content so not much reaction yet. This is a free service not a business. No profit is being asked for nor made. Below is a video I made for adding your first post. Please watch full screen.

First Post

The Blog

There are four main sections to get you started

  1. Setting up and registering your blog
  2. Your first post
  3. Inserting an image and embedding a video
  4. Changing the theme

There are also sundry pages:

  • Contact
  • Useful Programs including the free Microsoft Expression Design image editor
  • A page on Widgets
  • And a Library of books (pdfs for online reading or download) which I love and put on all my sites including this one.
  • About Me

Yes a weeks work indeed…..

High hopes

This may take some time but having retired I have time, its a hobby as well as I hope a valued service. Getting noticed on the Internet is not easy and I know this. I put up my first web page in 1996 (its still there in Archives) and during a five year period as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) I am no stranger to the web. I rent my own web server and name servers so I know what I’m doing. The cost is minimal, a few Euro a week. What I am doing now is spreading the word so please visit the site leave a comment or fill out the form provided. I need feedback so I can improve. Nothing is set in stone and I will respond to both criticism and praise but I have high hopes. Hope you enjoyed this hub, there is a poll……

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Tails From The Cat Shop

Great new book out from Storm! Must Read! Click on the picture to buy.

Fantasy meets Reality in Cyberspace, in a world where our online and offline experiences, friendships and even, our identities are excitingly entangled. Avatars are extensions of us, leading lives parallel to our own dull everyday existence. There are no limits to our Virtual Lives and we are free to live in any World we choose. Having a Virtual Life sets you free to dream and some dreams do come true.

Storm and Dude are partners. In spite of the fiercely opposing time zones, they meet and fall in love on the dance floor of the Junkyard Blues Club in the Virtual World of Second Life. They begin collecting breedable cats and their Second Life gets very crowded, so together they open Not Another Kitten, a Cat Shop in Cyberspace. Then the Cat Shop meets the University and both Worlds collide with laughter.

Meet the Divine Penny, the Italian-speaking Siamese cat, with the delicate chocolate paws, and find out if Professor Poppett’s poodle recovers from ‘indoor barking syndrome’. Go on an adventure in the alligator infested bayou to hunt for the Golden Kitten and find out why love always wins the day.

tails book

Quite an achievment. Started as a blog and became a book. Well done Storm very proud of you!


Heres the URL again : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFRFR7G

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Multitasking

The BrainMultitasking what a wonderful skill, something we all do with varying degrees of success. I love the joy of doing it well. Second life hosting makes one quite adept with instant messaging, group and local chat. Holding the skein of many threads and responding to them all. Its like dancing in formation and indeed you dance at the same time. I also grab a tune, paste it into YouTube, grab the link paste it into my converter to mp3 and download it and no one notices coz it happens so fast. I love multitasking…maybe

Some people hate it, it seems. “When you are with me you must give me 100% of your attention or I will walk away” and they do this while multitasking themselves. Odd. Our brains, our neuronal pathways are a perfect example of multitasking. Just imagine ” Stop thinking I want to breathe” or ” I’m drinking tea stop talking and listening to music ” Ha! Bit extreme that but you catch my drift! However:

Wiki says:

Because the brain cannot fully focus when multitasking, people take longer to complete tasks and are predisposed to error. When people attempt to complete many tasks at one time, “or [alternate] rapidly between them, errors go way up and it takes far longer—often double the time or more—to get the jobs done than if they were done sequentially,” states Meyer.This is largely because “the brain is compelled to restart and refocus”. A study by Meyer and David Kieras found that in the interim between each exchange, the brain makes no progress whatsoever. Therefore, multitasking people not only perform each task less suitably, but lose time in the process…..

 

Oh dear so it seems multitasking is not a good thing at the awareness level?  My mother used to do it. She would read a book, knit a fairisle sweater and watch TV all at the same time cognitively processing all three at the same time. She could recall the book and TV and I ended up with a beautiful sweater.

Some research:

Treating consciousness as awareness or attention greatly underestimates it, ignoring the temporary levels of organization associated with higher intellectual function (syntax, planning, logic, music). The tasks that require consciousness tend to be the ones that demand a lot of resources. Routine tasks can be handled on the back burner but dealing with ambiguity, groping around offline, generating creative choices, and performing precision movements may temporarily require substantial allocations of neocortex………..

In Buddhism mindfulness training is where you concentrate on the action that you are performing ” In walking there is only walking, in sitting there is only sitting” I am listening to music, thinking about this post and typing at the same time. I always work to music.  However perhaps this isn’t a good thing……

I think multitasking is a fact of life these days. I think it is an evolution of the digital life we lead. I notice my cats in second life come up to me and “demand” attention to the exclusion of all else. As does my real life cat. I can attend to my cat and do other things.

Do one thing and do it well? Do several things and do them all well? Is this possible? Switching our attention very quickly from one thing to another. What I have noticed is that there is a threshold effect. The music playing in the background lifts me to a threshold of experience and I function at a “higher” level.

Clearly I am very confused.

Multitasking or not, please leave your thoughts in comments:

Meanwhile back on the ranch:

Brain Pickings advice which I don’t do coz I don’t sleep too well….

  1. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.

    Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking moment, dictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?

I don’t sleep very well. I have to knock myself out with drugs.

Maybe I should stop trying to multitask………………. Help please! What you think?

 

 

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Free Stuff

Re Posted from Family Blogs dot me Family Blogs dot info is the main site.

You might be temptied to get a free site, weebly, webnode and WordPress all offer free sites and will let you register a gTLD a generic top level domain like dot com for a price. BUT you will find drawbacks. How many email addresses do you get, with forwarders? How much disk space? Can you have sub domains? You might get a dot me from wordpress like this one. i got this site to add to my SEO but the real site is Family Blogs dot info. Why? A big big reason compare the twp pictures below:

selfhostedI registerd a domain with freehosting.com to discover it did not have an up-to-dare cPanel and that half the utilities were missinng. It took nearly three weeks, a dozen emails and the threat of a court action to get it to a paid hosting like it is on today. I get 24/7 support from my service provider. Anything I don’t know about domains and servers I can find out immediately. I have been using WordPress since 2008.

FamilyBlogs.info is a web site. blog.FamilyBlogs.info is the blog in a sub domain. The blog is set up as a family blog. I do the same with IrishSecure.com the blog is at sl.IrishSecure.com this is an individual blog.

I use the connumity / family plugin on two sites GodKnows.info and SecondLife.HostsLikeMe.com . both these allow others to contribute.

A guiding principle for me isL “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he will never starve.” The days are gone where techys rule the web. Millions are doing it for themselves.

You can do it. Set yourself up as administrator, practice your skills. It will take up very little of your time BUT spend some cash as FREE things should be looked at carefully.

N.B. I make graphics animations and videos. I charge €10 about $6 an hour. Below is one of my favourites. It was made on my island in Second life.

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Your Domain

googledudesuitPlease note all links open a new tab.

In the era of hyperconnectivity and 21st Century Networks®

both coming of age, you or your avatar [I have DudeStarship.com] or both [see IrishSecure.com] need a personal web address. . Personal Domains® are another of my companies. The advantages are manifold. You can have a community blog, this is a “blog”, where members of your family can interact.

You can create a global cyberidentity Gone are the days of a domain address being for business. Now it just got personal.

cyberidentitygraphicfinal

logogoldAND HOW MUCH DOES ALL THIS COST? Well its $15 or €10 A YEAR to register a domain then $27 or €20 A QUARTER to host it. Thats a couple of bucks a week. A small coffee.  INCLUDING 4,500 templates BLOGS to come out of your ears [WordPress is the best with 61 million installations] Unlimited Emails Unlimited sub domains all on one of the fastest servers on the net [16 CPU’s Intel Xeon ] ALL INCLUDED PLUS online help [see help.irishsecure.com] PLUS ME!!!  If you can’t do it yourself, well  that’s what we encourage,  otherwise we will be happy to help. I have been at this since 2001 here is my first Business Site IrishSecure 12 years ago so I know my stuff. Charges €10 an hour first hour free. AND boy can we do a lot in an hour. There are thousands of WordPress designs available. No reason to spend a penny. The Internet is run by free stuff why not everything else too. however there is a caveat : Be warned against Free Hosting. It took me two weeks and threats of a law suit to get a domain  name servers changed from freehosting dot com. How do they pay service and electricity. Ads? Limited services? We are and will remain Ad free. Its not about making money its about making a difference. I have pet grievances like how our society is dominated by 4 big banks and I am not frightened to talk about it [see GodKnows.info ] I believe unless ordinary people have a voice nothing will change. Nowadays that voice needs must be electronic. My 19 year old daughter has a voice she showed me The Scale Of The Universe that she put up on her domain. Its free so I nicked it. This is just me. Your domain is yours to do with as you like. Except to follow the declaration of human rights. The important thing is for YOU to get a domain! AND it takes 10 minutes AND €10 .

We have online help files at help dot IrishSecure dot com feel free to peruse them. We also use Skype to help you through setting up your domain. Setting up emails takes about 15 minutes. Installing WordPress in a sub domain ten minutes.  Teaching you the basics of customization 30 minutes.  From saying “I want this domain to up and running say 2 hours. The only thing that might slow us down is your Internet Service Providers speed of updating their name servers.

So do it: Remember:>

mastery

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