Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ten Principles for a New Literacy of Technology

This is probably old news to people who have followed educational technology for a while. But I just came across the Alliance for Childhood's two publications on technology in education. Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood came out in 2000, followed by Tech Tonic: Towards a New Literacy of Technology (both publications are available as PDFs from the Alliance website). Hopefully I will be able to review them here, but in the meantime, here are "Ten Principles for a New Literacy of Technology" from Tech Tonic:

1. Slow down: honor the developmental needs of children.

2. With adolescents, teach technology as social ethics in action, with technical skills in a supporting role.

3. Relationships with the real world come first.

4. Technology is not destiny; its design and use flow from human choices.

5. Choice implies limits—and the option to say “no.”

6. Those affected by technological choices deserve a voice in making them.

7. Use tools and technologies with mindfulness.

8. To teach technology literacy, become technologically literate.

9. Honor the precautionary principle: When uncertain, err on the side of caution.
• Ask tough questions about long-term consequences.
• Make time, space, and silence for reflection.
• Responsibility grows from humility.
• Be resourceful with the tools you already have.

10. Respect the sacredness of life in all its diversity.


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