This week I registered for an open, online class called 23 Things for Digital Knowledge offered out of the University of Edinburgh.

I’m currently planning out my own digital literacy course for next summer, so I signed up mostly to see what they’ve focused on and how they tie it all together. For my own class, my early and very partial list of stuff that I want students to work on includes:

  • media literacy – critically evaluating the sources, biases, and rhetoric of the information they’re getting
  • the digital divide – investigate the reasons why power structures are reflected in access to and control of digital knowledge systems
  • web literacy – what are the different types of sites (blogs, wikis, forums, databases, static sites, etc.) and how do you build them
  • information systems – how to structure data in a csv, how to harvest data, how to clean data, how to analyze and visualize it
  • digital privacy – what kind of data are we leaking, how do businesses collect it, what do they do with it, and how do we mitigate all of this
  • digital security
  • digital citizenship
  • technological diffusion
  • algorithms (of oppression)
  • the funding of technological innovation
  • governmental use of technology

If we somehow built all of these skills and discussed the history of technology and the construction of cultures of knowledge, there would still be whole fields of psychological, sociological, educational, rhetorical, and economic analysis that we could delve into. 

The first of 23 Things’ asynchronous blogging assignments asks what you hope to get out of the MOOC. I’m hoping just to see how they managed to narrow the scope of Digital Knowledge to 23 things.