Friday, 21 November 2008

A Question of Citizenship

The course materials include a 2001 article by Mark Perensky which talks about having "digital citizenship" or being a "digital immigrant".

A curious choice of metaphor (are no immigrants citizens?).

I wonder whether I could be described as a "digital refugee", or with a nod to the tabloid press, a "digital bogus asylum seeker."

If we have to play that game I would hope one day to consider myself a "dual nationality holder", with one passport from the digi-realm and the other from the world of what I'd like to call "heritage technology" - ie books, pens, paper, etc.

Well I suppose it was just a modish sort of terminology, but I prefer the driving license metaphor.

I don't actually hold a car driving license either, and only a fraction of an ICDL, but at least it clearly refers to skills which are either acquired or not acquired.

In the meantime, another aspect of illiteracy strikes me every time I open this blog. Because of where I am based, the front page always appears in Arabic first. I can read a couple of words of Arabic (generally when I already know what they mean: it's the same with Thai).

I've now located where the "change language on this page" point is. There is no icon but I can remember the place - which will be fine, until the site gets revamped.

This is part of the problem most users face, and I'm sure "cut off dates" (Perensky's sensitive euphemism for age) will not make any difference.

No matter where people come in on this thing, they will constantly have to be relearning and unlearning as things get changed, "upgraded", and generally superseded by other things.

Of course the older we are the harder it is to learn new stuff - but that applies to everything else as well.

A sixteen-year old relative of mine has been grumbling about the changes to the Facebook interface...

No comments: