Daewoo and Zhigang Taking About Digital Literacy

Daewoo Jin, Zhigang Bai

  • What are 3 of your fundamental beliefs about learning literacy?
    1. The learning of literacy is socially constructed
    2. Learning happens everywhere.
    3. Learning literacy is not just confined to learning of language only.
  • What are 3 of your fundamental beliefs about teaching literacy?
    1. The teaching of literacy is not to teach literacy; it only facilitates the environment where the learning takes place.
    2. Teaching will be efficient when the learner gets involved in teaching actively.
    3. The teaching of literacy is to let the teacher learn as well.
  • What should be 3 key goals for literacy education in a digital age?
    1. The learner becomes an insider of digital literacy.
    2. The learner is able to communicate with people who are from and in non-digital age.
    3. The learner can work with/without digital technology.
  • What should be your basic approach to teaching literacy? What role should technology have in that teaching approach?
    1. Network-based autonomous learning
    2. Technology should work as a medium and facilitator of teaching.
  • How should literacy pedagogy respond to today’s technological world and to today’s digital learners?
    1. To use or not to use, enabling learning is the question. 
  • Discuss how your vision for teaching literacy would address the needs of World English speakers.  
  1. The teaching of literacy as a facilitation of learning enables world English speakers to take charge of their English learning.
  • Discuss how your vision responds to the challenge of the “digital divide,” a challenge that says we must worry about providing equal access to technology and information.
  • Should your approach to teaching literacy be the same as your approach to teaching other areas of English today? Why or why not?

Technology and My Teaching Career

I got married with technology a little bit earlier than I met my girlfriend.

The first time I came across something that can be considered as technology was apple, the white machines with green display. Actually I was there for display only. This was the only computer lab the university owned back in the year of 1991, which was donated by the World Bank. The World Bank came to check how we were using the loan and the equipment donated to our school, the school authority found some students of English Major to pretend to be learning in that lab. That was why I was there.

I was there the whole morning playing word learning programs. The Apple PC was so primitive that it was not even a multimedia one. It could only produce very poor beeps from a shabby built-in speaker. Every time you made a right or wrong choice, it will beep and display something like “Good job”, “What a pity” and the things like. Simple as it was, I had fun all the morning, I never felt a bit tired of that word game.

In 1993, I got myself enrolled in a computer class, which cost me RMB 200 ($ 30) — nearly four months of my living expense at that time.  The computer I used was IBM 386, much advanced than Apple ones, which can be easily told from a color display. The OS running was mainly MS DOS, as well as some other DOSes in Chinese language. In leaning to use computer, I did go through thick and thin. I remembered once we were blocked by a sudden summer storm on the way back to school dorm after the computer class. I arrived at my dorm at almost mid night. Fortunately, I was the only who succeeded in finishing the course and fulfilled the goal we had set up. That was a good enlightenment of computer literacy.

Computer was first used as a word processing tool in my teaching career. I was the only one who could skillfully use a computer to edit and print very beautiful test papers. Later, as the computer technology developed very fast, I was using computer to teach since the year of 1995. I could fully use the multimedia function of the computer and created multimedia courseware with different authoring tools. In the year of 1998, I won the first prize of “Multimedia Courseware Competition” of Shenyang Normal University,  which was a mile stone of my road of using technology to facilitate English teaching.


Going Tech Free

How successful were you at going Tech/Literacy free for a day?

I think mine was successful. I did a lot of preparation for my tech free day. I chose Monday, when I did not have to go to school and my daughter went to school. I printed all my papers I wanted to read, so I did not have to use my laptop or printer.

What was the hardest thing about trying to go Tech/Literacy free?

The hardest thing for me is to ignore the notifications of mobile social apps. I was worried about that there would be some important messages or emails I would miss.

How did your friends/family respond to you do the task?

My daughter did not notice it at all. I was cooking and reading at home, that made no much difference to her.

What was the short term impact on you of doing this task?

I realized it is really nice to be free from mobile phone and internet when you do not really need it. It actually kills a lot of my time even when I need to study.

Was there any long term impact on you?

I will try to quit mobile phone, or social network apps, to be exact.

Did going Tech/Literacy free cause you to get more physically active or less? Why?

I got more involved in physical exercise. When I finished my reading and assignment, I just did some Chinese physical exercise which will do good to my back pain.

What did you miss the most while you were going Tech/Literacy free?

No, I got my job done, my meals cooked, my exercise done. There was nothing to miss on such a wonderful

What did you miss the least?

I have to say that actually I love going Tech free. I do not miss anything.

I asked you to keep a simple journal about your experiences. Please review those entries and discuss something of interest that you wrote down.

Technology just wasted a lot of my time and made me lazy.

Overall, what did you think of this experience?

This is really a good experience. Although I knew a lot of negative effects of modern technology, I can never really quit those things. The feeling was like quitting smoking. I will definitely try to use less of those unnecessary technology.


A Tech-free Day

This event happened on September 26, 2016.


The alarm clock woke up at exactly 5:30 in the morning. I habitually took up my mobile phone to check up the time. Soon I realized that it was my Tech-free day today. So I got up and cooked breakfast for my daughter.


When I was having breakfast, I looked for my mobile phone unconsciously.


Before my daughter left home, she asked me whether there would be rain today. I was about to check the weather forecast on my laptop and then stopped. I looked out of the window and told my daughter that it was not raining for the time being.


After my daughter went to school, I began to do reading for my courses. All the reading materials were printed last night for the tech-free day today. Frequently I needed to look up some words. Of course the first thing that came into my mind is my mobile phone, but I could not use it. So finally I found out the “book version” of a dictionary.


Time passed quickly and two hours passed. During this time, I wanted to use my laptop to search for some articles and wanted to use google doc as well as Endnotes many times. The  similar things repeated until noon.


Time for cooking lunch. I made fried rice because it was easier and saved time. I also made myself some green tea, in case I would feel sleepy.


I still felt so sleepy after lunch, I decided to take a nap. I had to sleep without the help of an alarm clock. Thinking of this, I was a little bit nervous.


I slept for two hours without the help of the alarm clock on my phone. My phone was beeping and I began to read the messages on my phone. After this, I came back to consciousness that I was not supposed to use my mobile phone today.


I washed my face and started to do the reading again.


Cooked supper. Wanted to listen to music with my music player or watch videos on TV as a kind of relaxation while cooking. I had to do the humming by myself.


Sat at the desk habitually and wanted to use my laptop to check out what was going on there in the outside world. Then I told myself that there is only half an hour to go and then I would not be free form a tech-free world anymore. In order to welcome the end of the tech-free day, I did some exercise to kill time.


Still some time to go. I went out to collect my mail. I found two a letter from my car insurance company.


Time Travel and Technology


When compared, the two film clips help illuminate a key question for this course: How has our relationship to technology changed over time?


In the beginning, technology helped people to make jobs easier and our life better, like the invention of working tools, machines and home appliances. This led the great development in science and technology.We can make summer cool and winter warm, we can travel faster and get our job done quicker. As we are making ourselves more and more comfortable, we are becoming more and more dependent on

As we are making ourselves more and more comfortable, we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. this actually leads to the de-evolvement of human beings. We are reluctant to go out and meet our friends and relatives in person. The more we are dependent on modern technology, the less intelligent and strong we are.  

Secondary Blog Questions

How has film technology changed?

First, the picture and sound qualities are better.

Second, the settings and stage properties improved a lot. 

Third, the shooting technique improved a lot (Animation, CG). 

How have we changed as film viewers?

We are demanding more and more from film makers. 


How has our understanding of time evolved?

How does fiction/science fiction impact our relationship to technology?