Monday, September 7, 2015

What in the world do you mean by digital agility?

What in the world do you mean by "Digital Agility"?

What is digital agility?
Digital agility is the ease and ability to move between technologies.  However digital agility can only be obtained only after the prerequisite of "digital fluency" has been established in a learner. 

"Digital fluency" is much like "reading fluency".  A fluent reader typically takes the reading journey by first having print awareness, phonological awareness, understanding relationships between letter and sounds, understanding new vocabulary, and engaging various text types.  Eventually the reader/learner becomes more fluent. Over time, the reader/learner begins to build a toolbox that attributes directly to the reader's overall fluency which build the reader's literacy.    

Eric Stoller wrote a very informative blog post on digital fluency where he references digital fluency into the following areas:
Image from Eric Stoller's blog post
-  hardware
- software and apps
- operating systems
- campus systems or learning management systems
- social media/ digital identity
This article has helped me to begin to create thinking constructs around the idea of digital agility. 

My first digital fluency journey began with learning how to type on a typewriter in high school.  It wasn't until my freshman year in college that I began to use the Microsoft products that were 
Image from Pics for Learning
provided for me during my educational experiences.  When purchasing technology personally, I defaulted to what was comfortable so my digital agility within an operating system remained in a silo.  My exploration of
 Apple software and apps began later in my professional career.  At that time I began to compare and contrast the various software solutions and began to pick favorite tools based on ease of use to increase my work efficiency.   
My first steps in the realm of social media and digital identity began with the creation of my Facebook account. Then I moved into the purchase of apps for my daughter's ipod touch, my work iPad and then my personal  iPhone.    As I gained experiences in my professional career my knowledge base  grew in other areas such as hardware.  At one point in time, I was taking laptops off the domain and renaming computers.  There were times that I was importing data sheets into software solutions, setting up a mimio teachbar, or simply sharing a personally developed google site with curriculum organized by student expectations.  All the while, not really understanding that all of these activities were helping me to develop my own personal digital fluency which in turn increased my digital literacy.

Most recently in my professional experiences,  I was meeting with a group of 12 kids in the early
morning.  We called the gathering "iEngage Club".  One of the activities of the club was to engage the app smashing process in a BYOD setting.  I noticed that the students easily adapted to change, there was a vast knowledge base among them, and they figured out aspects of the apps that I had not yet explored. Our sessions quickly became a shared learning environment.  This term is known as "co-construction of knowledge".  Most of the students were innately agile with the use of the various platforms.  
Soon after my experience with the students  I held some sessions in a nearby school district.  The
district has iPads, Macbooks, Dell PCs and is a Google Apps for Education district.  In reflecting on the adult participation, most of the participants were agile but some took a more linear approach to the platforms but in the end I saw a strong increase in agility.  Once the participants felt a stronger command on the digital fluency of the use of the new MacBook they received, the agility increased.  

My experiences have lead me to the word  "digital agility".
The comparative chart below was created to help those help those who are beginning to take on the quest to increasing their digital fluency, digital literacy and digital agility.   




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