Confusing ‘the new’ with ‘the effective’ (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 170) Blog post #4

This post is an attempt to clarify my thinking around the topic of digital pedagogy, which I have chosen for my digital essay. Much of this post is framed around the readings stemming from Module 3.1, beginning with “Why the Google Generation Will Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives” (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009).

In this work the authors outline 7 issues affecting learning:

1. Age is NOT a proven variable.

2. …‘mis-information’ has been perpetrated about how young people behave in online environments.

3. All researchers – not only ‘young people’ are skim-reading research. This behaviour is understandable due to time restraint, but dangerous in terms of learning.

4. Society is ‘dumbing down’ not just young people. (Is this due to a dense of being overwhelmed by information access – as is debated in “Too Big To Know” (Weinberger, 2011).

5. “The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems.” This is certainly easy to observe in 1:1 classrooms, especially where ICT as a subject has been removed from the curriculum on the erroneous belief that all teachers can teach ICT these days.

6. “Young scholars are using tools that require little skill: they appear satisfied with a very simple or basic form of searching”.

7. “Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand.” It is this point that is the focus of my essay: planned and widely implemented digital pedagogy is crucial (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 171).


They go on to say that the abilities required to assess information are complex and costly. Their suggested solution is multi-faceted:

  • Students require time, care, energy and good assessment to improve their digital

academic research.

  • Teachers require professional development in library studies, internet

studies and literacy theory.

Without such a solution it will impossible to create a worthwhile intellectual journey through this new…landscape (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 181).


People such as ourselves, who are studying the implications of living in a time of knowledge networking and digital innovation, realise that the persistent allure of technology clouds the ability of devices to greatly improve learning outcomes, and that many examples of use are more aligned to entertainment rather than education.


“Technology has been proffered as a tool that ensures that teachers teach students in the right way” (Philip & Garcia, 2013 83, p. 301). Such a view is too often predicated on caricatures of teachers, rather than a serious understanding of the successes of so many modern practitioners (Philip & Garcia, 2013 83, p. 305) The breadth of the work required to successfully educate students for the C21st is one of the reasons that some teachers are not willing to engage with the new paradigms, falling into the category of late majority (or conservatives) in Moore’s Technology Adoption Lifecycle,  or even worse, laggards (Moore, 2002, p. 12).



So this is the direction that my thinking is heading in establishing my contentions about the urgent need for a digital pedagogy which encompasses  these serious issues relating to our profession. What do you think?



Brabazon, T.,   Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will   Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181.   Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

Moore, G. A.   (2002). Crossing the Chasm; Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to   Mainstream Customers (Revised ed.). New York, United States: Harper   Collins.

Philip, T. M.,   & Garcia, A. D. (2013 83). The Importance of Still Teaching the   iGeneration: New Technologies and the Centrality of Pedagogy. Harvard   Educational Review(83), 300-305.

Weinberger, D.   (2011). Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That The Facts Aren’t   Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, And The Smartest Person In The Room Is The   Room. New York, New York, United States Of America: Basic Books.



6 thoughts on “Confusing ‘the new’ with ‘the effective’ (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 170) Blog post #4

  1. Judy O'Connell

    You are interweaving your ideas through the various readings beautifully! Taking the time to explore and think through what you have read is going to really strengthen your final piece of writing. Thanks for sharing!


    1. msimkin

      Thanks Judy. I am enjoying this type of discussion, and developing my digital essay theme and response. Your comment is a good spur to a bit of late afternoon creation!


  2. I’m with you all the way Margaret!
    The sooner it is accepted that digital literacy is the responsibility of all educators the better.
    At my previous school over the past few years there has been a huge and very successful push to embed the teaching of literacy into all subject areas, in particular through Munro’s High Reliability Literacy Teaching Procedures. If gruff old traditional tech school type teachers can embrace the teaching of literacy in wood and metal work then I don’t see why ALL teachers can’t embrace the inclusion of digital literacy in their curriculums. If that means they need to upskill themselves then so be it – it’s about time!


    1. msimkin

      In my current school the devices are provided for us, no cost, no lease. The classrooms are set up with docking stations already connected to IWBs so use is seamless. Through the library I provide a range of materials for use (most at no cost to other faculties). Most of our teachers use the device, and some use it really well. Our students from years 9 – 11 now have 1:1 devices in their hands with the same platforms as we have (in the case of Year 9 the device is a lower spec of the same model). Teachers still ask: “but who is going to teach them how to use the digital text books?” Of course, I am available to assist teachers with mastering such skills, but only a few accept into my offers!
      The power of connectivity is rarely tapped into. Interestingly, Facebook was opened to all a couple of years ago due to a marketing suggestion (!) and we have a number of VCE classes using closed groups very effectively for curation type purposes. My class (Year 12 Revs) don’t use the group, although I know some of them are really into social media. Only some of them are comfortable using the forum within the LMS. Since starting this course I have re-implemented forums. They are great for discussion based subjects. I got some of my Year 9 students using Twitter two years ago – mainly boys. The girls reacted as described in Miriam Edwards recent blog post resenting me being in a “public” social place that they may or may not have chosen to inhabit!
      Needless to say, when I started working at this school I was like a kid let loose in a lolly shop – and 9 years later I still feel very privileged!
      It will be interesting to see if my studies can impact on the way in which ICT is used at my school – here’s hoping! Thanks for the comment!


  3. Deborah Welsh

    Margaret, your school seems well on the way on the journey – my school is just beginning discussions on the 1 to 1. I worry they are talking technology and not pedagogy, and I’m sure it’s because they believe if they build it, they will come…Somehow, magically, teachers will feel confident to do wonderful things in the new technological world. There’s a fear inherent in that belief, and it’s not just about relinquishing control. There is no impetus to change. I was at a PL event on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset last week, and the staff were nodding wisely about the students, but I felt it was their mindset that needed shifting! It needs to start with the other TLs with whom I work..Sigh…


    1. msimkin

      Hi Deborah, it is really important to keep in mind the progress one is making compared to the progress one would like to see made! Don’t suppose you’d like a shift to the wonderful SW of Vic so we could work together??? And that’s the other factor for me, being in a regional area 3-4 hours from Melbourne means qualified staff in specialist areas such as ours can be hard to attract, and unless they have a real reason to be here, they are also hard to retain. I hope your colleagues are prepared to listen to your input, and I hope you take time out occasionally to celebrate your progress – because there will be progress, even if it is slower than you would like.


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