Understanding Digital Literacy and Open Education Through an Examination of Trust and Ignorance Online
In this paper we examine digital literacy and open learning, and explicate how they relate to the study of trust and ignorance online. Using data from a study which explores the knowledge producing work of undergraduate students as they undertake course activities, we argue that a 'social practice' approach to digital literacy can help examine epistemologies of trust and ignorance when learning is ‘opened up’.
We argue that the learning activities of students in open and online environments is supported and shaped by powerful historical, social, and economic forces, or ‘sponsors’ of digital technologies who, through their digital platforms and applications, offer users both opportunities to learn and the potential to constrain and suppress. A challenge for open education is to understand how, when education is 'opened up', particular forms of online practice pave the way for the construction of ignorance and that this is not predictable from person to person and location to location. Developing approaches to counter ignorance and foster critical thinking, therefore, is far from straightforward in the current age of informational abundance and ubiquitous connectivity.// Paper ID 17