The Digital Revolution in Education: Digital Citizenship and Multi-Literacy of Mobile Technology

The Digital Revolution in Education: Digital Citizenship and Multi-Literacy of Mobile Technology

Ria Hanewald, Wan Ng
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-849-0.ch001
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This chapter aims to provide an outline of the digital revolution and the way that mobile devices facilitate participation in the Information age. It provides readers with a broad understanding of the key developments that have emerged over the past two decades as well as the current developments in this area. New and emerging practices relating to the use of mobile technologies for learning and their underlying drivers will be explored. The interconnectivity of applications and devices that is closely linked to concepts of multiple literacies and digital citizenship will be discussed. This brief review of the emerging technology landscape allows for greater appreciation and fuller exploitation of the potential that mobile technologies hold and provides a portrayal of its topography to enable conceptualization at a macro-level.
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Emergence Of The Digital Revolution In Education

This introduction traces the evolution of the Internet, also known as Web 1.0 followed by Web 2.0 and the emergence of Web 3.0 while describing their range of applications and potential implications for use in educational contexts. It will assist in understanding the development and complexity of these technologies and the flow on effect into mobile devices for educational purposes within major learning theories. Harnessing the power of network communication and information with mobile devices needs a strategic approach to train the next generation of netizens. It will be argued that multiple literacies, digital citizenships (the responsible, ethical and resilient use of digital technology) and fluency with mobile devices will be essential pre-requisites for education, recreation and employment in the future.

The Internet: Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

From its origins in the 1960’s as a military co-ordination system, the Internet has exploded in the 1990’s due to commercialization and is now a global data communication system, used by a quarter of the Earth’s population (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2009). In addition to the World Wide Web (www) and electronic mail (email), it also supports file transfer and sharing, gaming, publishing and teleconferencing.

The term Web 1.0 is an often used synonym to describe the Web before 2000/01, and particularly when comparing with Web 2.0. Others argue that there is no distinct cut-off point due to the ongoing development of technology.

A simple way of understanding the main differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is by comparison. Table 1 shows the contrast in the applications and the limited technical scope of Web 1.0 with the more sophisticated design of Web 2.0. Hinchcliffe (2006) believes that the rise of Web 2.0 was due to technical improvements such as “…broadband, improved browsers, and Ajax, to the rise of Flash application platforms and the mass development of widgetization, such as Flickr and YouTube badges”. Those platforms were drivers for change in the field of education, as they offered more pedagogical scope in the use of online environments.

Table 1.
Comparison of Web 1.0 with Web 2.0
      Comparison      Web 1.0 (one way)
      is mainly about
      Web 2.0 (both ways) is mainly about
      (Technical scope)
      text      video
      reading      writing
      professional      amateur
      dial-up      broadband
      hardware cost      bandwidth coast
      client server      Peer to peer
      wires      wireless
      (Pedagogical scope)
Recreation (Entertainment)
      lectures      conversations
      top-down      bottom-up
      information      opinion
      facts      facile
      tool      lifestyle
      (Employment & Economy)
      companies      communities
      edited and
      raw and
      discovery      drivel
      didactic      anarchic
      for few      for many
      owning      sharing

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