#CritLit2010 reflections – third week


The theme in this week is Pragmatics. I  would like to connect the concept of Pragmatics, that it is a subfield of linguistics, to explore the ways in which context contributes to meaning “Digital Literacy“, as part of a Critic Literacy.

“Pragmatic” and Digital Literacy referred me to a postulate that Horacio Godoy, an estimate visionary and pioneer in the use of ICT in school education and university in government (who had  the opportunity to know), had made in the 80 ´s a postulate that read:

“An institution that obsolete computers are incorporated becomes, by that act, in an obsolete institution with computers” (Socialware, 1987).

During the 80’s  Godoy, referred to that fact the syndrome of  “USTED”  (means YOU in Spanish), an acronym for Underdeveloped Use of Technology Developed. USTED was a threaten, an epidemic to the developing world with a dangerous and increasing impact: to reproduce our ignorance or “incompetence qualified”.

In Latin America, after the initial kick by Nicholas Negroponte with the educational project OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) are carrying digital literacy initiatives: Uruguay with Plan Ceibal, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile and Paraguay are equipping classrooms with the XO OLPC. Mexico began the project in rural indigenous communities. In Argentina, after serious fluctuations, is implementing a digital integration experience. In Brazil,
Free Software education is expanding.

Now, when we talk about Digital Literacy, what we

In its semantic dimension, we could say to include ITC for training and education technological skills for reading, writing, learning.

In its pragmatic dimension, it would be that the users would use such technology to the context.

Following the above,

  • What do we mean by digital literacy?
  • How we translate this concept at educational, social, political, economic and global level?
  • Is it the same implementation on digital literacy for the populations of Latin America and the least developed countries in the region, than in more developed countries?

There are similar understanding  of Digital Literacy in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, neighboring countries with differents experiences on digital literacy. Plan Ceibal successfully persists in Uruguay and is expanding in education to upper levels.In Argentina, isolated experiences are emerging, where connectivity and digital literacy consist on incorporating into the national education system effective use of ICT in the classroom, bridging the digital divide and encourage digital literacy through solving the priority problems of education and training for work. Brazil rejected the computer education
project of the MIT OLPC American and instead, they opted for a solution based on Free Software itself.

So, they are aware of the importance of a “Digital Literacy”, even though, they are implementing it on different way.

The common denominator is the context of technological life that underlies all of us for the current time in which we live.

We know that to some extent the integration of technology is an indisputable aspect to expand opportunities for regional development and essential to the present and future children and young people in learning stage.

New technologies are being implemented in educational settings.

So,  do we  believe that incorporating technology to innovate, we will improve the quality of our teaching and learning?

We live in a digital culture and know the importance of accessibility technology in particularly in the field of education, integration possible, and the future impact


Is the incorporation of new technologies in the classroom and teaching in general which necessarily alters our ability to teach and learn?.

Are the “new” technologies of information and communication that we have to incorporate
to ensure teaching and learning for the future? Or are new systems of ideas and concepts that we develop for educationfuture in our technological lifestyle?

Which are the concepts we have of future scenarios in education? From what perspective we when we think of education of the future?

This leads me to think on  another idea from Horacio Godoy. He said that we need a  “Mind service “ in order to “update” our thinking according to the reality that we are living.

I wonder, how much Critical Literacies or Critical Thinking like the article written by Jeff Cobb suggests, can be understood in the light of Mind Technologies that can contribute to innovation in our thinking? How can they help us discover how agreed the new systems of ideas and concepts? Could it help to support a new view on Digital Literacy?

How could we take advance of tecnlologies and connectivism to contribute to develop innovation and future scenarios of education?

Could be Critical Literacy considered the “Mind tool” to avoid the expansionary impact of USTED Syndrome?


I like this cartoon that points on the importance of thinking on future.

Fuente: http://www.orejano.com

The cartoon ´s dialogue :
-In what are you old?
-Seeding the future, old… throwing the future.

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3 Responses to #CritLit2010 reflections – third week

  1. Heli Nurmi says:

    Hi Maria,
    it seems to me that you are the only person who can follow CritLit program on its 3rd week. I enjoyed to read your post, especially when you used concepts “Mind Tool” and “Mind Technology”. I am walking into same direction I suppose.
    I have used the saying (John Moravec)
    It is not hardware
    it is not sofware
    it is mindware.
    How to put pragmatics to my mindware – I am working on it today. Thanks to your post, I will read it many times ….

  2. Pingback: Pragmatics versus Diversity | Heli on Connectivism

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