iCasting as digital literacy

Thoughtful post by my colleague Martin Weller. He and I are members of the OU’s Broadcast Strategy Group, the deliberations of which have led to the university advertising for a Director of Multi-Platform Broadcasting. In his post Martin reflects on what he’s been doing last week. The list includes:

* Record a talking head piece for the launch of the OU’s YouTube channel
* Record and synch the audio and upload a slidecast of a talk I gave last week
* Upload an educational video I had created to YouTube and add annotations
* Write two blogs posts
* Finish off a Camtasia video for a project

Reflecting on this, he writes:

I was never much of a fan of the term ‘digital literacies’ – to me it seemed like an excuse to say people needed training and development in using new tools, rather than just encouraging them to use them, e.g. we needed to create courses on becoming digitally literate before we would let our students use them, and then we could tick a box saying this was covered, like basic numeracy. I still think encouraging people to play is the best approach, but my recent dabbling with making videos has made me appreciate that this may be approaching a digital literacy.

This is about more than technical or design skills, more significant is the mental shift to thinking of iCasting as the route for distributing ideas. We have so long been subject to the tyranny of paper, that to conceive of an output in any other form takes a real effort. In fact, we often mistake the production of a paper artefact for the actual output of a project. So my message to the incoming Director is this – help us become iCasters.