• Allison Graham

A Digital Learning Specialist's Dictionary

In preparation for the year 2030 when schooling will look different due to the continually evolving nature of the field to meet changing needs, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly present in classrooms and learning spaces. As teachers’ jobs tradition into digital learning specialists, what is the critical knowledge and vocabulary necessary to make this evolution?

Words hold incredible power—the power to define experiences, the power to name injustices, the power to inspire change. This has been seen time and time again through the power of orators, the longevity of oral history, and the writing of the defining documents of this country. From “I have a dream” to “We the people” to “Once upon a time,” words have the power to move, draw, create, and innovate. Conversely, the lack of access to a common lexicon has the power to exclude, erase, and disenfranchise. Language dominance (Hemàndez-Chávez, 1978) has also been seen time and time again through Supreme Court decisions (Schwartz, 1992), literacy tests (Goldman, 2004), and war-time codes (Hurst, 2014).

The power of words does not only apply to major languages like English, but also to JavaScript, C++, and Python. Coding languages, which use characters and words recognizable to certain readers (like English-readers), are highly exclusive. Who can understand, access, and thus benefit from them? If one cannot generate or interpret these languages, the ability to design in the virtual reality or artificial intelligence space is denied. While I do not have the digital literacy of a computer scientist, I can begin to unpack the dialects of AI, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) in an educational context, beginning to build that bridge towards literacy.

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