Got it!
We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies. More info

Already a subscriber or advertiser? Enter your login information here

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

FREE! Sign up for the TIE newsletter and never miss out on international school news, headlines, resources and best-practices from around the world!

06 January 2021 | When Educators Grieve
23 December 2020 | Welcome Back to Better
09 December 2020 | Confronting Place Ignorance
25 November 2020 | Joy and Enjoyment in Learning
11 November 2020 | The Weirdest Thing
28 October 2020 | TIE Is Transitioning Too
15 October 2020 | Rising to the Challenge

view more

 

Enter your email below to sign up:

Ready to subscribe and get all the features TIE has to offer? Click here >>


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS

You are here: Home > Online Articles > Digital Intelligence in a Post-Truth World

THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER

SEARCH

Digital Intelligence in a Post-Truth World

If we forget to look out of the window

By John Mikton

01/05/2017

Digital Intelligence in a Post-Truth World
If we forget to look out of the window. Photo by John Mikton.

Every year has its moments, and 2016 was no exception. Various significant shifts occurred, including changes in the political landscape in the United States, United Kingdom, and Turkey. And the horrors of war, civil strife, terrorism and an underlying global tension have been constantly fed into our digital lives from the comfort of our screens.

As we consume the aggregated algorithmic social network feeds, each customized to ensure we get what we want to digest, we are choreographed into a more divisive world.

Information is power. This year, the pollsters, news agencies, and pundits got caught out with two big votes, and so many predictions seemed off.

Our landscape of information has entered a level of Orwellian curation, and what is news, fact, or reality seems dictated by emotion and perspectives constructed from our own curated news feeds. They are rarely factual. "Post Truth" - Oxford English Dictionary Names 'Post-Truth' Word of the Year by Jon Blistein is the word that defines these moments and a shift to a new narrative.

For many of us, this Orwellian curation has us struggling to distinguish fact from fiction. The level of sophistication of not only the algorithms but how these are manipulated to shift thinking is the new power. In schools, we are being told by various studies that our students capacity for media and information literacy is weak. (Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds by Camila Domonoske). When you consider we as adults struggle with this landscape, it is no surprise that our students struggle too.

In a world of algorithms where the sophisticated digital curation of social media, news, blogs, and video feeds can be manipulated to match an individual’s perspective, the challenges we face as educators are immense. This manipulation, shared in this sobering article "Google, democracy and the truth about internet search by Carole Cadwalladr highlights the complexity of being truly media literate. The prevalence of third party curation in social media feeds during elections highlighted in this article "Macedonia’s fake news industry sets sights on Europe" by Andrew Byrne emphasis the challenges we all face in understanding what is "real" news.

To be complacent is short-sighted in a school setting. There is a tendency with school professional development to not explicitly address the digital reality that engulfs our lives as an essential part of our professional learning. Information and Media literacy are what frame our own democratic values: choice, perspective, empathy, resilience, and critical thinking. If we as educators are going to assign students critical thinking tasks and ask them to engage with media and information while juggling screen time in a complex digital landscape, we cannot be passive bystanders.

As school leaders, we need to re-frame our engagement with the role of digital life in professional development. Together, we need to understand the complexity and impact of algorithmic information flows on our devices.

We also need dedicated spaces for this professional learning. We must learn how to mentor information flows, authenticate media, source perspectives, and understand the pedagogic impact of a curated news. We must approach this with patience and empathy, and allow everyone to build an understanding of the digital flows we live by, tapping into the talent of our librarians and digital coaches as guides. We must take advantage of the frameworks available to us (e.g: #1 or #2) and use them ourselves, as a point of reference for a pedagogic consensus on how to mentor our school community.

The paradigm shift asks us to look at Digital Intelligence as a core intelligence. As defined by http://www.projectdq.org: "- the sum of social, emotional, and cognitive abilities essential to digital life." and shared out in the World Economic Forum article: "8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them".

Digital Intelligence needs to be woven into the curriculum. We do this on a daily basis with all other aspects of the curriculum. Let us do it with Digital Intelligence. Re-structure the focus and content to explicitly encompass screen-time management, privacy management, cyber security management, digital footprints, and digital identity; use these to make authentic connections based on our experiences. Then, reflect on our digital habits, likes, tensions, questions and understandings to create activities to share. In this process, we should hope to find comfort in being honest with our own vulnerabilities. We can then use this life-learning to support our students' understanding of digital intelligence.

Being explicit about implementing Digital Intelligence in faculty professional learning ensures this is an essential part of our educators professional growth. Working together, as adults learners, we need to harness the complexity of the choreographed digital world. By ensuring this is in our professional learning landscape, we are then empowered to share our digital intelligence to students. It is the only way to counter an Orwellian curation of information in a "post truth" world.




Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:

Nickname (this will appear with your comments)
Email
Comments


Comments

There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.

MORE FROM THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER
Your team needs your leadership more than ever. Here are the top three things you can be doing as yo ..more
After weeks of deliberation, we at the Principals' Training Center made the decision. We will not ta ..more
Due to the quickly spreading coronavirus, many schools in Asia and a growing number of schools in Eu ..more
COLLEGE COUNSELING WITH MARTIN WALSH
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
FEATURED ARTICLES
Change: The New Normal
By Shwetangna Chakrabarty, TIE blogger
11-Nov-20
GORDON ELDRIDGE: LESSONS IN LEARNING
Designing Curriculum for Global Citizenship
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
08-Dec-20
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Home Sweet Exile
By Bruce Gilbert
25-Nov-20
The Little Library Making a Big Difference
By Veenaa Agrawal
11-Nov-20
THE MARSHALL MEMO
Reimagining Schools When We Return to a New Normal
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
06-Jan-21
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey on Effective Remote Instruction
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
23-Dec-20